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A funny thing happens when you move far away from family and friends – you find out who matters. People always ask me “is it hard living in the middle of the Pacific?” Hard? No. But do I miss all the people I love? You bet! I will be honest – holidays are the hardest. You always feel like you are missing out on something! Since we’ve lived here, I’ve learned fun ways to keep in touch and foster relationships. Ones that are really important remain at the forefront, but because it’s not quite as easy to grab dinner and catch up, you have to get a little creative. Because I know a lot of you reading might find this useful, today I’m sharing 5 ways to keep in touch when you live far away!
1. Phone Calls.
This one seems really straightforward and kind of like…duh, Kait! But then when it comes down to it, how many of us carve out the time for phone calls these days? It’s much easier to text, I know, I’m guilty of it too, but after I get off the phone with someone I’m always saying…I need to do that more often! The best time for me to make phone calls (once I account for the time change) is when I’m out running or walking. It’s usually my “me time”, but during my 10-15 minutes of cool down I am free and available for chatting. It usually aligns with when my friends or family are driving home from work on the east coast so it’s win-win. Admittedly, I call my mom every single day during this time!
2. Social Media.
It never fails, I log onto Instagram or Facebook and one of my friends or family members has tagged me in something. Usually it makes me laugh out loud (anyone else nodding in agreement at some of the memes floating around these days?) and I immediately comment back or “like” their tag. It’s an easy, but simple way to let someone know you’re thinking about them. In a day and age where social media can sometimes be the root of the problem, I love it for keeping in touch! Earlier this week one of my sorority sister sent me a text commenting on a recent post and it was truly the highlight of my week.
I know what a lot of you are thinking – I just want to be with my favorite people. I get it. And for that I tell you – Skype or FaceTime. It’s the closest you will get to seeing the ones you love until you can actually be face-to-face. When we first moved out here, I was like – but what about all the times we would get together for a drink or laugh for hours on end on each other’s couches?! You can still do that! I promise! Prop that phone up and you can share a meal, drink or just some chatter and a laugh. FaceTime is my preferred method, but if you’re living somewhere that might not have the best reception, Skype is a good home computer option, too!
4. Care Packages and Letters.
Part of the fun of living in a new place is sharing it with those that can’t be there in person, right? Hawaii is known for coffee, macadamia nuts and so much more that packaging it up and sending it off to friends and family is always a highlight! I love putting together packages stuffed with all the things I love from here and seeing what they think.
With Mother’s Day on the horizon, there’s kind of an elephant in the room for me. I miss my mom so much, even though she was just here for a full month visiting! In an effort to take away a bit of the sting, I put together an extra special package for all the moms in my life with a little extra help from American Greetings.
I picked up everything I needed for each package (including the goodies!) from our AAFES store on the military base where Dane and I both work. One stop shopping is the definition of convenient! If you’re also in the market for Mother’s Day cards (American Greetings has the perfect Mother’s Day card for every mom – friends, sisters, grandmas…you name it!), American Greetings is running a promotion 4/17 – 5/14 that is Buy 3 cards, Save $2. Look for the display above to snag a coupon!
In any case, I got right to work putting together an Eat, Drink & Be Happy care package. I included coffee glazed macadamia nuts and locally dried apple bananas for eat, delicious local coffee for drink and fun little li-hing sour hula keiki for be happy. What’s not to love about little hula girl gummy treats?! I also included a card in each box with a heartfelt message from both Dane and me. Does anyone else love sending cards? There’s nothing better than a handwritten card in my opinion! Even when I’m not sending care packages, I try to send out letters to friends and family pretty regularly.
5. Have A Plan.
When one trip with friends or family is ending, I always make a mental note to begin planning the next one. Travel is a big reason I am able to make the distance work. Ultimately, getting that one on one time with the people I love most is important to me, so having something to look forward to is a must. If traveling isn’t an option for you, make plans for phone dates, FaceTime dates, heck with the way technology is now…even movie dates where you stream the same movie at once! It’s *almost* like you’re together watching it.
What is you go-to method for keeping in touch?