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Published June 4th, 2014
Staying Connected While Traveling Abroad
An Orinda 10th grader, Caiseen Kelley is the Be the Star You Are!(r) radio coordinator and Techie Talk reporter for Express Yourself! as well as a competitive swimmer, coach, and piano player.

When my mom came to America for her graduate degree, she lacked the resources and funds to talk to her family often. She often laments about her experiences with the long distance and how hard it was for her to communicate with her loved ones back in her homeland. Luckily for students going abroad today, the story is a lot different.
There is a plethora of apps and websites that help people stay connected with home. Skype is a popular software application that allows you to get free face-to-face time with people anywhere in the world. In addition, Skype has paid options for international calling, which are often a lot cheaper than telephone services. Another alternative is Google Hangout. Google Hangout allows video chat in a group setting. You can invite all members of your family to "hang out" on a Google page where you can all see one another.
A common problem with traveling abroad is feeling disconnected with your friends or family. Often it is the little moments that make us feel lonely, wishing that we could share our adventures. Now using apps like Snapchat you can document these special times. If you use Apple TV or Chromecast you can even share the shows you are watching with your loved ones, thus creating a "movie date" type setting. When you have a certain someone in your life that has been left behind, the apps Couple or Avocado may be perfect. Couple and Avocado allow you to send sketches, messages, pictures, stickers, and thumbprints to someone else in a password protected arena. For the more forgetful individual, the app Romantimatic is your ticket to being responsible. It allows you to send yourself reminders to text your friends and relations to keep connected.
Thankfully for our generation, this new technology helps us enjoy a more relaxing summer of traveling or studying abroad without losing contact with family and friends. With these applications, travelers can focus more on the culture while being immersed in exciting foreign experiences without feeling homesick, because "home" is just a click or chat away.

Teen Scene is YOUR voice. If you have something to say or have writing skills and want to be part of our Teen Scene team, email our Teen Coach, Cynthia Brian, Cynthia@CynthiaBrian.com.

The opinions expressed in Teen Scene are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Lamorinda Weekly.

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