I thought MSN, facebook, e-mail and text messages would be enough. Calling is too expensive, sending actual postcards takes a long time all the way to The Netherlands, but a couple of months ago I discovered Skype.
Skype is able to do all the things I needed: it chats, it knows how to handle webcams and microphones, but it has two additional advantages: it calls and it is cheap.
Nothing beats the sound of somebody picking up an actual phone without knowing he or she just received a phonecall from the other side of the world. Surpise in their voice, happiness by hearing your voice and they are relieved not to sit behind a computer screen themselves.
It works, it is fast and just costs 0.017 cents a minute.