Sunday, 7 March 2010


Living abroad is a lot of fun, but there are always those at home whom you miss. It used to be, that when you were thousands of miles away, writing letters, postcards, or spending a small fortune on phone calls from crackling public phone boxes was the only way to keep in touch. Of course now we have the internet, email and the saviour of my bank account, Skype.

Skype is free to download. Free. You can make Skype to Skype calls for free. Free. Last week I had a ‘conference call’ with my friend who is living in Australia and my friend back home in the UK. We were in very different time zones, with me in an entirely different day, but not one of us had to pay for that thirty minute phone call. Free!

And even if you’re not calling a fellow Skype user, the cost is so low. My friends calling my American cell phone pay 1p a minute, and texting is 5 pence. Being in the US, I have to pay a little more, with a call to a cell phone being 14p a minute, but to a landline I’m still only paying 1p a minute. So I can talk to my parents for an hour for the same price as a mars bar. Amazing.

I can’t begin to explain how great it is to be in such easy contact with home when you’re away from everything you know and all the people that make your life at home. Skype truly is a life changing communication tool. My parents, at 63 and 58 years old, have just brought a webcam and downloaded Skype so they can video chat with me regularly. For a couple who still struggle to use more than one browser window, it proves how simple and easy Skype is to use.

Download it here.

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