5 Ways To Stay Close to Long-Distance Friends

moving-overseas-staying-close When you make the decision to move away, one of the hardest parts of making the transition is saying goodbye to family and friends. This can be even more difficult when you are moving to a different country.

The number of people moving overseas has been growing. According to the “Global Expatriates: Size, Segmentation and Forecast for the Worldwide Market” report, there are approximately 50.5 million expatriates worldwide and that number is growing by 2.4 percent every year.

If you are planning on moving abroad, you may not always be able to give your friend a quick call or fly home for the weekend, so consider these methods instead:

Send Snail Mail

There is just something special about receiving a nice long letter or thoughtful care package, especially when it’s from a long-distance friend. A hand-written letter or a drawn picture can help bridge the distance between you. Huffington Post suggests sending a package every once in a while, too. You don’t have to send anything expensive, but send a few of his or her favorite treats or some fun things to remember a past experience you had together. Another idea is to send some items from your new city or country so your friend can learn about your new home.

Start a Long-Distance Book or Movie Club

Even if it’s just the two of you, start a routine of watching the same movie or reading the same book regularly so you can feel more connected and have something to discuss the next time you talk on the phone or text. BuzzFeed suggests breaking it into a schedule that helps you and your friend stick to a goal of reading more books and giving you a regular time to talk over the phone or Skype. Or, you can make a list of movies you both want to see and watch them at the same time. Plan a call once a week to talk about what you read or watched to stay connected as if you were together.

Make a Traveling Journal or Shared Blog

Instead of the same old text message, IM or Facebook post, get creative with starting a blog together or writing in a journal and mailing it back and forth to each other. The blog Her Campus gives an example of a group of friends who shared a journal and took turns sending it to each other. The friends talk about how much closer they feel when they have the journal, and they have been circulating it since 2001. This new tradition can last you a long time and only strengthen your friendship.

Have Drinks Over Skype

You may be missing those weekly happy hours with friends, but you can create a virtual alternative with a cocktail hour over Skype. With mobile providers, like T-Mobile, you can use Wi-Fi calling or any free service to talk for a long time without pricey long-distance charges. Instead of a general Skype chat, plan a cocktail hour with one or several friends. The blog Autostraddle suggests everyone taking turns choosing a cocktail that everyone can make and talk over drinks, just as if you were in the same room.

Plan a Trip Together

You may not be able to visit each other that often, but a fun way to see one another is to plan a trip together. The Muse suggests choosing a location that is special to you both, whether you’ve been there before or not. Even if you can only afford to travel once a year, find somewhere that you can both easily get to and meet up for a week or long weekend. You’ll have new adventures together and more to discuss next time you talk.

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