A Few Tips: Staying in Touch with Friends and Family
Emily is an editor and marketing specialist based out of Austin, Texas. She’s pays regular visits to Costa at least 3 times a year.
I had the opportunity to stay in Costa Rica for four weeks last July. During this time, I was completely immersed in the rich Latin American culture. Even though it was the best month of my life, I still missed my family and friends like crazy. Here are some ideas to maintain healthy communication with your loved ones from home:
iMessage is available for any Apple device. It is basically free instant messaging. The cool thing about iMessage is that you can see if your message has been delivered or not. Users with iPhones, iPads, or MacBooks can use iMessage when connected to the Internet.
WhatsApp (Android, iOS)
WhatsApp automatically syncs with your phones contacts, and it is ad free. Users can send text, photos, voice and short video messages to their WhatsApp contacts. WhatsApp is free to use for the first year, with a cost of $0.99 per year.
Don’t underestimate the power of email! Email services like Google and Yahoo are always reliable when connected to the Internet.
Facebook Messenger (Android, iOS) (Free)
Users sign in with their Facebook accounts and can send other users the usual chat messages, as well as voice messages and voice calls to other Messenger users. On Android, Messenger has a neat “Chat Heads” feature that pops up in the screen to allow you to chat even when other apps are on-screen.
Skype (Android, iOS, WP8) (Free)
The power of Skype is real. There’s just something about seeing your loved one that makes you feel at home again!
Skype is most well-known for its video and voice call functionality, but Skype’s instant messaging features allow you to send text, photos and even short video messages to other Skype users even when they’re not online. Additionally, Skype users can use Skype Credits to make calls to mobile phones and landlines.
Sending mail internationally can take up to 2 weeks. If your stay here is a short one, I’d recommend shying away from the somewhat crazy world of the Costa Rican postal system. Once thing that is nice is the simplicity of a postcard. Although you probably won’t be sending or receiving too many packages, mailing a postcard back home can cost as little as two dollars and a short wait in line. Go old fashioned and send home a letter or postcard from your trip!
In the end: As hard as it is to be away from loved ones, don’t forget to let yourself be immersed in Costa Rica and enjoy the time away from home! Take this time to find yourself and embrace meeting new people and learning about a new culture.
Emily Maulding | Contributing Editor
September 25, 2017