One of the worst parts of growing up is having all of your friends dispersed around the country. They get new jobs, new boyfriends, and the worst of all – new friends (*gasp*). But having your friends hundreds of miles away doesn’t need to be the end of your friendship altogether. And no, I’m not suggesting you spend all your vacation days on plane tickets to see them every month, but there are small ways you can foster your friendships from afar that will go a long way.
- Facetime. In today’s world, I don’t even need to write this one down. But the most important thing is to keep it consistent and keep it fun. No one wants to Facetime, like, *all* the time, but find a good healthy cadence where you can catch up face-to-phone about once per month. Even better if you do activities at the same time. I love to Facetime my chef friend while I’m cooking (or while we’re both cooking).
- Send cards. I love sending my friends cards even when there’s no occasion. Sometimes I find cute Etsy cards or cards from local paper shops as a “just because” present.
- Offer on-site support. I always try to remember if it feels hard for me to be away from my friend, imagine how hard it must be for them to be away from their parents! I like to ask my faraway friends if they want me to deliver anything to their parents when I’m in our hometown for special occasions (like making sure my friends’ moms get flowers on Mother’s Day).
- Start a sister of the traveling… I find this particularly fun with books. A lot of my friends love to read, so we all exchange books. There’s also something so fun about getting packages, so starting a traveling item all your friends can enjoy no matter the space between you is a great way to stay in touch.
- Memories, memories, memories. Who doesn’t love looking at old pictures? Make sure you have Time Hop set up and send each other old photos. Better yet, get on Shutterfly and make each other memory photo albums.
- Birthdays. Make sure you have birthday reminders for your friends so you never miss an occasion to celebrate them, even if you can’t be there in person.
- Group Trips. Is this even a travel blog if I don’t mention traveling together? It’s hard to get enough IRL time when they are home visiting family too, so make time to take small trips together. Pick a destination (wine tasting in Napa Valley makes a great group trip) half-way between the two of you and take a trip together to make sure you’re always making new memories when you can.
- Be there for the big moments. The small ones matter, too. But it’s easy for friendships to start to fall apart at the seams when one person feels another wasn’t there for them through difficult times. Remember to check in on your friends (yes, even the strong ones, the funny ones, the sarcastic ones…) and keep up to date with all their big moments.
How do you maintain your LDRs?