With the advent of Internet and wireless communication, you can write an electronic mail (email) and get a response almost immediately. With so many on-line chat applications on mobile phones, you can talk and see the person across many miles away. You will not feel lonely when you are working in a foreign land. It is just a phone call away on VoIP (Voice over Internet protocol).
This was not the case in the 1980s. There was no Internet, no World Wide Web (www). When I was away on overseas assignment or overseas training, I had to write letters and send them via air mail. The cheaper form of air mail was the Aerogramme. It was lightweight to save on postage cost.
Most personal letters were handwritten and not typed. Penmanship was taught in schools back in the early days. It was a joy to see good penmanship or handwriting. Any errors on a letter would be crossed out and the letter could be full of corrections, unless you want to write all over again.
When you sent a letter back then, it would take days before it arrived at the recipient’s address. To get a reply would take even longer when the other party was busy to craft a reply. So you waited for the postman to deliver the letter, or it might not arrive because it was missing on route to you.