We've all had the experience of a close friend moving away. Instead of seeing this friendship as lost, try to look at it as an opportunity to have a different sort of friendship. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, as well as the old-fashioned postal service, there are plenty of ways to keep in touch with your faraway friends.
- Make the effort to remember. Even if you have to write down the names of faraway friends on a sticky note and attach them to your computer monitor, make sure that you are reminding yourself of who you want to stay in touch with. Otherwise, it is easy for months to go by without thinking of someone: Out of sight, out of mind.
- Make small investments. It's easy to think that you will wait until you have time to write a "real" letter or have a long conversation, but the truth is that that time may never come. Instead, pick up the phone while you're thinking of your friend. It is perfectly acceptable to say that you only have ten minutes or that you can only write a quick email - most people will be excited to hear from you, even if it's only for a moment.
- Remember important dates. Get a calendar or software reminding you of when your friend's birthday or anniversary is. Have it remind you a few days in advance so that you have time to send a card. If you have a friend who has gone through a difficult time or a death in the family, try to remember that time also. People often need more support on the anniversary of traumatic events.
- Don't pay too much for the telephone. You are more likely to call people far away if you're not paying an arm and a leg. Get a cell phone plan that doesn't charge for long distance, find out when the cheap times for calling are, or get some sort of low-cost or free computer program like Skype.
- Use the Internet. Not only can you email, but now there is MySpace, Facebook, and lots of other social networking sites. Keep up on your friends' blogs and think about having one of your own to keep people informed.
- Visit!! The best part of having friends in other parts of the world is that you have the perfect opportunity to travel! Sure, you'll have to pay for plane fare, but you'll have a place to stay and wonderful memories for the rest of your life.
Although it's hard when our friends leave, it really is a small world nowadays. Make sure you keep in touch - old friends are valuable, and you never know where you might need somewhere to stay!