Now that I’m very much done with uni, a lot of my friends live quite far away. There’s an ocean between a lot of us. Keeping those long-distance friendships going is a lot of work. But it’s so so worth it. I wouldn’t lose them for the world. I’ve been doing this long distance friendship thing for a long while I thought I’d share some of the ways we stay in touch and maintain relationships that (I think) will be lifelong.
TEXT THE LITTLE THINGS
Text/Messenger/Whatsapp is the ubiquitous way to keep in touch. But as well as the every day, the outfit questions, and the endless gifs don’t forget to share the little things. Imagine those people are with you as you’re walking around, what would you point out? Did you see a great dog? Did you meet their doppelganger in a lift? I mean don’t do it all of the time, but make sure they’re a part of your life rather than endlessly catching up on your latest meeting at work. It’s also fun to send one-liners on a postcard like this cheesy number.
If you can’t be with someone in person, Skype, when it’s working, is the second best thing. With time differences they can be hard to arrange, but they’re totally worth it. I’ve started to skype my best friend from uni while I’m cooking and it is honestly like double therapy.
There’s something very special about a hand written letter. Something you have touched and spent time crafting physically making its way to them, it’s almost like being there. It’s wonderful to receive a letter, a little surprise on your doorstep. It’s wonderful to send them too. Writing a letter gives you time to get your thoughts in order, to help you make your memories permanent, and to give you a chance to work on your handwriting. If you want to make your letter something extra special, put it in a greeting card. I have a range I illustrated just for that purpose because I made the cards I would want to send – you can pick them up over in my shiny new store!
One of the most important duties as a friend is looking after each other when times are tough. Sometimes that can be tricky if there’s an ocean getting in the way of a hug. That’s why I like to send “open in case of” packages every now and again – writing this post has reminded me to send some more. I fill boxes with cards and tea, and lovely things (think face mask samples, candles, mittens), wrap them up and send them across the sea.
Making time to visit each other is the biggie, and it’s the one I’ve been particularly bad about. It’s something I want to change, but a mixture of money, work, and my anxiety is holding me back from another American adventure at the minute. But I am going to be making the effort to take (semi) regular trips up to Oxford, more than I have this past year. So, if you can, make sure you see the ones you love in person. Hugs just aren’t quite the same through a computer or a letter.