I am sure you will have many stories to tell everyone back home. You can do this is a number of ways. One way that I did it was to keep a blog where I posted my pictures and stories so you do not have to write individual emails all the time. It will also be a great archival record you can always have, something like keeping a diary in the "old days" You have the choice of opening your blog for the whole world to see or just your friends.
When you write emails, I always created "lists" so I did not have to repeat myself all the time so I have lists such as family, friends, work colleagues and so on. It is fast and efficient and if anyone wants more detail they will write back and then you can write a personal email.
Recognize this picture? You probably don't see very many of them in your home country anymore but they actually still do exist in south east Asia. However I do not recommend you using them to call home.
I use skype. I buy minutes very cheaply and call anywhere for a few pennies a minute. Safe, convenient and affordable.
You can spend a lot of money with other alternatives, but there are so many free alternatives now that you do not have to. Check out the alternatives in whatever country you end up because each country seems to have their own free services using voice over protocols.
Your passport and credit cards are not the Mona Lisa. They are MORE valuable. Unless you want to spend a lot of time and heartache if your valuable possessions get lost, make a copy of all of the "important stuff" and keep it at home with a trusted friend or family member. You will thank me many times over if things do get stolen or "lost" It will just save you a lot of time and aggravation.
Another word to the wise. When you are walking on the street, keep your valuables in the hand or pocket opposite the road. Motorcycles in places like Vietnam race by and grab purses so you have to be careful at all times.
A friend of mine kept two wallets with him when he walked on the street.. One with almost nothing in his pocket and the "important one" tucked in his shirt or somewhere. If you are a man in south east Asia you will likely be the only one walking home with a tie so you will stand out like a sore thumb as if your face was not a giveaway!
It is a long ride over the pond if you are going to Asia from North America so you mind want to take a book to read. May I suggest it All Started in Mandalay to get a good insight into the personal stories of teachers living and working in an international school. Buy it now so you can have it on the plane whenever you go. It is by yours truly, Michael Allan Charles