$936. And Skype.
That’s how much a flight home would cost me for Christmas. That’s a lot of dough. Dough I doughn’t have. (I know that was cheesy, but hey. I bet it made you smile.)
The holidays are always tough when you’re more than 3,000 miles away from your loved ones. There are other times that are difficult, homesickness comes and goes. But Christmas is one holiday that I find particularly hard. Last year I was able to go home and see my newborn nephew, my niece, my brother, his wife, my parents… This year I am staying here. I’m going to try to distract myself as much as I can. And probably skype with the family.
Who doesn’t love Skype? I know my fellow expats do. Skype first came out in August 2003. That was when I just finished my first year abroad and away from my family. So during that year I still bought phone cards and paid a lot of money to speak to my mom and dad a few times per week. Skype would have made my life so much better back then. And it would have saved me a LOT of money.
Now fast forward 8 years. I am here, in school, away from family and friends. But I see my mom almost every day. With the help of Skype. Sometimes we’ll just talk for a few minutes to quickly catch up, or other times we’ll talk for an hour or more. It makes such a difference when you’re able to see the other person while talking to them. It makes the physical distance between you appear less and it gives you the feeling of closeness, even when you’re far apart.
I love Skype and I don’t know what I would do without it. Being able to see my niece and nephew (even though my brother and sister in law aren’t the best skypers *hint*hint*) always is my highlight.
So let’s light our tree this Christmas (or the menorah this Hanukkah) and let’s have a Skype party, everyone!