How to cope when friends or family emigrate

More and more people are choosing to leave the UK to live abroad, whether they’re chasing their career, chasing the sun, or simply want a fresh start somewhere new.

Since the middle ages British people have settled elsewhere and made countries across the globe their new home.

And it’s still popular today.

Between June 2013 and June 2014, 323,000 people emigrated from the UK according to the Office for National Statistics.

The most popular destination for Brits in 2012 was Australia, closely followed by the USA, India, China and France.

But regardless of where your friends or family are headed to, it is still daunting to know that they will not be so close any more. We stock a wide range of personalised emigration gifts to help your nearest and dearest feel at home abroad but there’s no way to make the departure of friends and family painless. We have selected some tips that we hope will make the process more bearable for you (and for them too).

Make use of technology

One of the biggest advantages to this century is the ease at which we can communicate with each other. Unless your loved ones are emigrating to the North Pole, there’s bound to be internet access and therefore there’s always the chance to speak (and see) each other whenever you miss them!

Skype, Facetime and even Facebook give you the chance to chat or video call, making it feel like you’re right next to each other!

Of course, it’s not the same as actually being there, but we think it’s pretty close. Just imagine the days before there was any internet or mobile phones to instantly get in touch with each other across the miles.

If you’re not so savvy when it comes to technology, it’s really worth getting some basic skills so that you can independently get in touch whenever you want.

There is nothing more infuriating than knowing you have access to your friend or family but your lack of knowledge is preventing you from using the computer or tablet to call. Get lessons from your local library or get the person who’s emigrating to teach you the skills before they leave!

Plan (if you can) dates when you can visit, or they can visit you

Looking forward to a special date you have planned can really turn your mood around if you’re feeling upset and missing your friends or family.

It can be hard to plan visits regularly, especially if they have emigrated to Australia, New Zealand or America, but even planning a visit once a year can make those negative thoughts turn right around when you remember it’s not long until you can see them again.

If it looks like you won’t be able to arrange a visit any time soon, just plan a time when you will call or Skype to give something to look forward to. As we said, it doesn’t quite match spending time with them in person, but it is something small to look forward to!

Find out about their new home

Sometimes, the thought of a friend or family being so far away can make you feel completely disconnected from them.

It’s easy – especially if you’ve never fancied travelling far yourself – to imagine they are impossibly far away.

But a little research can really put things into perspective and make you realise that they’re not as far away as you think.

Find out how many miles away their new town or city is away from yours. Having a figure will make you realise that they’re not ‘millions of miles away’ as you first thought.

Reading up on the country they’re headed to can also be a real eye-opener and will help you visualise where your friends or family are headed to and what life will be like for them.

You might find that your sadness is replaced with envy when you realise they have a summer climate all year round!

Think of them!

It’s easy to be wrapped up in the emotions of losing someone when they move to another country.

But you need to remember that it can be a tough time for them too.

If the family is moving away because of a parent’s job, chances are their children might not be so happy about the move.

Even if they are pleased to be going to a new place, they might be nervous about starting a new school, leaving old friends behind and wondering what life will be like in a different country. Try and be there for them as a supportive and friendly voice from home, you might find it helps keep your sadness at bay too.

Use the post to send special parcels to each other

Of course, using the internet means you can stay in touch every day if you wanted to. But just as important as this is, it can’t replace traditional post, especially when you want to send something special.

Don’t just save it for birthdays and Christmas, use the post to send surprise parcels to family, whether it’s a survival pack of tea bags and chocolate they can’t get in their new home country, or whether it’s a surprise selection of photos and mementos of you all together to keep them smiling when they’re feeling a little homesick. Our personalised emigration gifts are always a welcome surprise to receive in the post and ensure your family and friends know they are in your thoughts.

Getting your friends or family to send you things back will also help to ease your sadness when you miss them, whether you want the kids to send over some drawings or a few items that relate to the country or area they live in.

Even a good old postcard is perfect to get from family who’ve emigrated!

Have you got family or friends living abroad? What helps you on days when you miss them?

If you know of someone preparing to move abroad, why not give them a special personalised emigration gift to treasure?

Check out our Personalised Emigration Gifts.