This is an old article by Elena (former Elenaexpat), which we have translated for the topic of this month, Social Media and Life Abroad. It is always valid 😊
An engaging article by Elenaexpat on the importance of keeping in touch with our past host countries.
Among the many ways I have discovered to stay connected with my previous host countries, one in particular allows me to keep the ‘feelings’ aspect alive: The Mailing List. This is what I call ‘emotional information while abroad’. You know that little note that occasionally appears at the bottom of emails from mailing lists? If you no longer wish to receive this information, send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org?
Well, I can’t. Really. I’ve tried a thousand times: I prepare the message, write the address and then … my courage fails. I retrace the reasons that led me to sign up in the first place: a chance meeting, an online purchase, a club I belonged to, the neighbourhood mothers’ group, or my children’s school.
It is exactly two years and two months since we arrived in Melbourne, leaving the wonderful city of Boston. I am still signed up to all the mailing lists and what is worse … I read the messages! Not on a regular basis, but every now and then I leap back into the past and spend half an hour recognizing people, words, places, appointments.
In particular, I’m attached to three of these wonderful groups: the first is the one from my son’s first school, a beautiful and innovative nursery. Among the many messages I still receive, some are about special activities, others about fundraising, but my favorite is the message I received in September. Subject: CNS Alumni. Alumni, yes, kindergarten alumni! The founder and director of the school wishes all alumni a bright future. I swear tears flowed while I was reading it to my little man.
Or that time when, still inextricably linked to the primary school that my two eldest attended, I find a video message announcing the arrival of the first TV in the school, awarded for the high standards achieved. Who appears in the video? Miss Doyle, our wonderful Miss Doyle, my child’s amazing teacher! I hear her voice again, see her style … and once again, I’m in floods!
And what about the wonderful mother’ groups from the North-End, the neighborhood where we lived? A superbly organised group that with a simple email could make you feel right at the heart of everything that was happening there.
I love spending time on these messages. I confess that I am also subscribed to mailing lists such as Four Quilt Corner, Denim Express, and Soft Star Shoes: even a pair of jeans purchased online have become a reason to stay informed about what is happening in that part of the world.
What do you think: am I a hopeless case? I’d love you to pop into the forum and share how you keep in touch with the places where you have lived…