Nine years ago this spring I made a terrifying leap into the unknown and boarded a plane to fly 8000 miles to the Falkland Islands to work in a place where I knew no one.
It was made all the more daunting because I knew I wouldn’t be coming home for six months (unless I resigned!) and because communications in the South Atlantic were very restricted and very expensive. There was no mobile network, landline calls cost £1 a minute and the Internet (I deliberately don’t use the term “broadband”) was extremely slow. Of course my stumbling block became my stepping stone and if it hadn’t been for the prohibitive costs of phone calls, I may never have started blogging, but being confined to communicating via the written word wasn’t easy and it did make me homesick
Since then I have boarded a lot more planes to a lot more destinations with varying ease of communications to family back home. From Hannover to Inverness with Paphos in between.
Our first married posting took us to Alberta in Canada and another problem! The calls might have been slightly less expensive (and the broadband even though we were miles from anywhere was amazing!) but we were now 7 hours behind the UK. I remember all to well the frustration of coming home from work and desperately wanting to pick up the phone to someone in the UK to share a bit of news, but knowing they’d be asleep and I would have to wait till the following morning.
Now we are back in the UK you’d think all those problems would be behind us, but actually things haven’t changed all that much! Our extended family is still scattered around the globe. My sister-in-law lives in the Middle East and my father-in-law retired to Cyprus several years ago. We all like to keep in touch and although the internet goes a long way towards making it affordable and convenient, there is nothing like picking up an actual phone and sitting on the sofa having a good catch up!
So I was intrigued to hear about Lebara, a company aiming to keep migrants in touch with their families overseas. Lebara offer competitively priced international calls and texts and have established an online community where you can find answers to questions about living overseas. There’s also plans to launch an entertainment service to view content from home which I know is one of the things I missed most – In fact my parents used to send us weekly DVDs of TV programmes!
You can also pick up a Lebara SIM card if you have family from overseas visiting the UK on holiday (as my father-in-law often does) for £12 you get 30 days of unlimited texts, 2GB of data, 1000 minutes of calls within the UK and discounted calls back to their home country (calls to Cyprus are only 1p a minute, calls to the UAE are from 6p) Just remember to unsubscribe before they head home so you don’t pay for more than you need!
So if you are far from home, or if you have family coming to visit who want to stay connected, have a look at the services that Lebara can offer and you can also find out about the good work they do overseas through the Lebara foundation
This post is written in collaboration with Lebara, one of Europe’s fastest growing mobile companies with five million active customers, 1,000 employees worldwide and operations in eight countries.