Being away from loved ones can be tough, especially when they’re in an entirely different country. Whether it’s family, friends or significant others it’s never easy and sometimes it can feel like you’re drifting apart. Maintaining friendships and relationships with many miles in between is hard, but it’s not impossible. When I graduated university and moved abroad it was hard to keep in touch with friends because of many factors, including, but not limited to, time changes, international calling rates, and busy lives.
It’s hard to text a a loved one all the time when you have stuff to do in the present so sometimes these relationships suffer. However, not all hope is lost, I promise! I’ve done a lot of long distance in my short life from a transatlantic relationship to living in a different country than my friends and family, and although it never gets easier there are certainly ways to make sure these relationships stay alive and the best they can be.
Skype has been a total lifesaver. I’ve probably spent thousands of hours on Skype in the past few years because it’s such a great tool when you’re far away. As long as you have an internet connection you can see their face, hear their voice and it’s almost like being there. It’s important to incorporate Skype dates as often as possible because it will never, ever compare to just texting. Find a time that works for you both and set a date and keep that time slot open for that person each week, you’d be surprised the difference it makes. Plus it gives you something to look forward to during the week and who doesn’t want that.
I love letters, there’s something so personal and exciting about getting mail. Receiving a letter in the mail feels so much more satisfying than just an email. It’s old fashioned, sweet, and shows you’ve gone that extra mile to make them feel loved. Just a few weeks ago I received a letter in the mail from one of my friends back home that she wrote me on her typewriter– nothing made me feel that special in a long time! For the cost of some postage, send that dang letter!
Share photos with one another. This might sound dumb when everyone and their mother (well, maybe not their mother) are posting photos to every social media platform out there, but it’s important to make your friends and loved ones feel included in your life. Of course, don’t send them photos from somewhere that will make them feel left out, but photos from your everyday life helps significantly in continuing to forge that bond. It will make your life and their life seem more real and tangible, rather than a faraway, impossible thing to maintain.
Lastly, visit one another! I know travel can be expensive and it might seem daunting, scary and unmanageable, but plan ahead and you can make it work. See it as an opportunity as well– if they’re living somewhere you want to visit it’ll be a great chance to broaden your horizons and knock somewhere off of your bucket list.
Maintaining friendships and relationships is so important, especially when there are hundreds, even thousands, of miles or an ocean between you, but it isn’t impossible. Stay positive and make sure you stay included in each other’s lives and you’ll make it through. And when you see each other again after a long time it’ll be even more special than when you saw each other every day.