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!