Ever since I moved to Texas last April (2016), I’ve felt a deep homesickness. I had a lot of changes in my life at that point – getting married, starting a new job, and moving to a completely new state. I’m going to talk more about my moving experiences and how I stay positive (when I do!) in future posts, but for now I just wanted to give two big tips on how I keep in touch with my family and friends in my home state, Virginia. This is not a sponsored post, these are just really great services that I personally recommend!
Tip #1: WhatsApp. This app is my saving grace, for two reasons;
CHAT | I use the chat feature daily to connect with my family. If you don’t have it already, I highly recommend downloading it and creating a family group. It’s worth it to spend an extra few minutes to teach older adults in the family how to become more whatsapp-savy. We text updates throughout the day, send photos to one another, and make plans for visits. My sister will send photos and videos of my niece and I feel like I’m close-by watching her grow up!
CALLS (VIDEO/AUDIO) | The second feature I use is the audio call feature. I personally have an iPhone, but half of my family doesn’t! We can’t FaceTime, so instead, to improve call quality, we use the WhatsApp audio calls. On the weekends, we sometimes catch up with the video call feature. It’s way better than the direct mobile calls simply because the sound is so much crisper! This is especially true when you’re on wifi.
Tip #2: Southwest Airlines. I rarely travel via any other airline. This is for several reasons;
POINT SYSTEM & CREDIT CARD | Knowing my home-base (and heart) is in Virginia, I knew I’d be traveling there often. Sticking to one airline makes the most sense to me because I can accrue points and travel using these points. At a previous job when I was traveling 85% of the time, I quickly earned A-List status which allowed me to board in the first set and also to skip the security line. Talk about a game-changer! With the credit card, I easily earn points through my purchases. They had an offer that got me 50K points in 3 months, and Nunu (hubby) and I used those to fly to SF for our Hawaii trip! Without that boost, we may not have been able to make the trip happen at such a good deal.
CANCELLATIONS | I had a nightmare situation with a different airline one time – They wouldn’t refund my ticket cost when I had accidentally booked the wrong date. To make matters worse, it was a work booking. The entire situation put this fear in me of booking with other airlines. Southwest Airlines does not charge when you cancel or change a flight. Depending on the type of ticket you purchase, the funds will remain on your account for future purchases. This works for me because I’m obsessed with traveling and I know I’ll use the funds.
BAGGAGE POLICY | Two free carry-ons and two free checked bags (at 50lbs max each)? Unbeatable.
When you live away from the place you consider home, it’s hard to feel connected to that place and the people. I’m always looking for ways to see my family, and WhatsApp and Southwest Airlines have made my living apart from them a whole lot less difficult. If you have any questions about my experiences moving away from family or home, drop a comment and let’s connect. If you have your own tips, I’d love to hear them! 🙂