Keeping in touch – 10k at a time

 

The most difficult part of living in a foreign country, by far, is being away from family and friends. It breaks my heart every time I see my best friends from home hanging out together, knowing that it will be months before I see them again.

Having lived so far from home for almost 5 years now, I’ve lost touch with many people, both family and friends. The few close friends that I do still stay in touch with are so important to me that I do everything I can to keep up with what’s going on in their lives. But, even with the best intentions, between my crazy busy job, trying to spend time with my fiancé and keeping up with friends in London, I often struggle to keep in touch with everyone I care about back home.

I recently came up with an idea for keeping in touch that has been really great, so I thought I’d share! I was struggling to find common ground with friends who I now only see once or twice a year. They have new friends I don’t know, boyfriends I’ve never met and they hang out at places I’ve never been to.

So how do we find common ground? We made some!

One of my best friends has been getting in great shape, going to the gym and running. I would have loved to been able to be her workout buddy. Then I thought, why not be virtual workout buddies?

My friend and I signed up for a 10k race the next time I’m home and it’s been so great training ‘together’. We send each other photos of our runs, encourage each other when we’re struggling and celebrate when we manage to run a little farther or faster. It’s made such a huge difference feeling like I’m able to do something with my friends, even if I can’t physically be with them.

Tomorrow is our 10k race (yikes!) so after that I’ll need to find new ways to keep in touch! I’ve been brainstorming a few ideas, such as:

  • Planning a mini vacation for the next time we see each other
  • Setting a goal at the gym to work towards together
  • Taking the same class in different places so we can compare notes (cooking, pottery, yoga, whatever!)

If you have any other suggestions for keeping in touch with long distance friends, I’d love to hear them!

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Green London

One of my favourite things about London is the number of green spaces scattered around the city. Whenever the stress and busyness of the city gets to me, I can always go relax in a park!

This is Waterlow Park in Highgate. Walking around the park, it’s hard to believe that you’re still in London!

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North London is full of amazing green space. Waterlow Park is like a small backyard garden compared to Hampstead Heath! You can spend a whole Saturday getting lost in the trails through Hampstead Heath, or sun bathing in the big open spaces. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even take a dip in one of the ponds.

One of the things I miss most about Canada is camping and cottaging. I’ve always loved heading up to Muskoka and getting lost in the wilderness of Algonquin Park, or spending the weekend at a cottage swimming in the lake and making s’mores around the fire. Unfortunately there’s nothing quite like Canadian cottage life around London.

BUT when you are craving a little bit of wilderness London definitely has some great options to quench your thirst. London is one of the cities with the most green space for it’s size, and there are plenty of options regardless of the area you live in. To really feel like you’re out of the city head to one of the biggest green spaces, like Richmond Park, Bushy Park or Wimbledon Common.

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