There are few amongst us who haven’t lost a friend to foreign climes in the last decade.
Whether the recession forced them to seek work abroad, their chosen college course required relocation or they’ve always had a serious case of wanderlust, waving goodbye is never easy.
And maintaining the friendship through time zones even less so.
If you’re currently struggling to maintain your friendship due to the oceans which lie between you and your mate, fear not because we’ve got you on this one.
1. Send a ‘for absolutely no reason’ card
It’s a given that you should remember their birthday, but opting to use snail mail for no other reason than you saw a card that reminded you of them or thought it would give them a giggle is extra special.
Getting post (that doesn’t contain a bill) is always appreciated, and is one of the easiest ways to make your friend feel appreciated.
2. Pay attention to the names of their local hotspots
When your friend mentions a restaurant which she goes to on the regular or a new bar which blew her away, don’t just nod along.
Make a note of the establishment’s name and organise a gift voucher for the place. You mightn’t get to wine and dine her in person, but doing it from afar is the next best thing.
3. Make an effort with their family
If you’re close with her family, be sure to pop in to them every now and again as this will mean a lot to your pal who probably wishes she could get home more often.
If you’re not that close to the family, tea and chats may not be an option, but there’s a lot to be said for sending a Christmas card or giving a quick call to let them know that you’re looking forward to seeing them during your friend’s next visit home.
4. Video call while attempting a joint activity
Why not decide on a time when you and your friend can Skype and get busy with a joint activity? Prop the laptop on your respective kitchen tables, and get busy making cupcakes together.
Flour, eggs, butter, sugar and Avonmore Super Milk is all you’ll need alongside a desire to watch your mate get busy baking from thousands of miles away!
5. Record messages from the gang
When you live abroad, you’re used to hearing you were missed at special events, but actually seeing your friends gather together during a big event to record a message for you means the world.
At the next birthday party, hen night or wedding day that your pal can’t attend, take 15 minutes to record messages from everyone to remind them that they haven’t been forgotten.
6. Don’t flake on catch-up dates
There will always be a time when you can’t take an impromptu call from Down Under or delay responding to a text sent from Canada, but if you and your friend decide on a day and time for a catch-up call, do not flake on it.
Time distance makes it hard enough as it is, so if you agree to an allocated time, be sound and stick to it. Your time isn’t any more valuable than theirs.
7. Make an effort with their new friends
Take the time to find out more about their new housemates and work mates so you have a point fo reference that isn’t firmly rooted in the comings and goings of the gang at home.
Remembering your pal’s work mate is an absolute melter or enquiring after their new gym buddy goes a long, long way.
8. Accept their method of communication
If you’d much rather ping tests back and forth all day long, but your friend is all about the scheduled 60-minute phone call, accept it and compromise.
If your pal would always rather voice-on-voice action, but you can’t spare an hour, phone her first and explain you’re free for 30 and hopes she can chat,
9. Don’t hold lack of contact against each other.
There will always be times in your lives when you’re busier than others, so chances are weeks might pass when checking in with friends is neither yours nor her’s number one priority.
Accept that as part of life, explain when you get a chance, accept her explanation and remember that it takes more than a few weeks of radio silence to ruin a friendship as strong as yours.