Far Away From Home

Day after day, the world we live in changes irrevocably. Boundaries are drawn or erased, new highways and air routes come into existence and take children away from parents, separate siblings and put thousands of miles between best friends. By the minute we are provided with new opportunities for work, education, better life – some of them as far as the end of the world, and all of them requiring a certain sacrifice. Years ago, most of them would cost more than we would care to pay, but today we have the means to keep our friends and relatives close no matter where we live.

Visual memories are important – everyone would say that. However, you don’t truly understand how important they are until you are far away from home, in a foreign country, on a different continent. You go home from work, expecting to see the same empty and lonely room. You unlock the door and the faces of your family are there, before you, smiling from the gold-plated picture frame on your wall. Minutes ago, you didn’t even remember that the photo existed; now you are grateful that you decided to take it with you when you didn’t even realise you will miss everyone so much.

A year ago, if somebody told you that you would spend hours on Skype, talking to your family and friends, you would have laughed. Now there’s hardly a day when you don’t send them a message, asking if everyone is alright and answering their concerned questions in turn. And while the smaller members of your family practically grow in front of your eyes thanks to programmes like Skype, you can’t help but spend some of your time on Facebook, checking on your friends, on the latest news from your hometown, staying in touch and being informed.

It really is great that now every one of us can have a profile in a social network, an account in Skype, an e-mail client. Sometimes we can even forget that we are far away from home – as if our parents have gone on a holiday, our siblings are still in their school’s boarding house and everybody is together. Practically, we are together – a small family keeping its distant relationship with the help of the Internet, part of the bigger world family, whose parents are the globalisation and the striving for better life.

Sometimes, the effort to maintain a connection is everything that relates us to our past. Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, Skype and Google+, being away does not feel too bad. Because of our visual memories – pictures and videos, digital and real, every place in the world feels like home. If you are far away, you know that feeling when you see the familiar faces smiling from your desktop. If you are planning to go away, save a corner of your suitcase for everyone’s pictures – you will never regret taking them with you.

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