Long-distance is hard!
Going from hanging out with your bestie regularly to seeing them maybe once a year is soo hard. It's a mixed bag of emotions because you’re happy that they (or you) are taking an adventure and moving away from home. But at the same time, who am I going to go to the gym and then immediately go to Pizza Hut with? Or co-sign on all the crazy things I come across - like running up and down the steps at Soldier Field (Chicago’s major football stadium)?
While it does hit you hard, and the first months after they’ve moved away it feels like you’ve lost your arm. There are ways to make long-distance not seem so far.
Regular Video Check-ins
Reina and I, even before starting Comfort Eats, would have regular video calls where we would catch up on all the day-to-day drama. It’s probably pretty standard for most people, but for Reina and I, our friendship was really built in-person. We didn’t talk on the phone much, but we would see each other a few times a week (some for the aforementioned gym sessions).
So going from totally in-person to totally virtual, was definitely a big change for me. But over time it was pretty great. It gave me something to look forward to, and we would end up chatting for hours about random stuff. And with her living in New Zealand, there was always some new and interesting thing that she could share, which made me feel not so disconnected with her.
I, on the other hand, tried NOT to show some of the local Chicago things, so as to not spike her homesickness --- specifically it was food. But talk about it with your loved one and see what they prefer, definitely don’t assume.
Extra Special Gifts
I think the first gift I ever got Reina was a gift-card to KFC (see our love for food runs DEEP). The KFC that I got it from didn’t even really sell gift cards, I don’t know if KFC even HAS gift cards anymore period. They had a really old one, under a few layers of dust, and no envelope. But it worked!! And I will say that that was probably one of the most thoughtful gifts EVER!!
And since then, we’ve both made it a great habit to send each other gifts particularly when we can’t be there in person. When I was going through a break-up she sent me some chocolates. During her pregnancy, I sent her some Cheese Puffs. And we even send some non-food gifts from time to time. For my birthday she sent me some Fenty Highlighter and I use it ALL the time and think of her every time. And for this past Xmas, I gave her this magical eyeliner stamp, and she has texted me at least a dozen times since then raving about how much she loves it and how she needs to stock up.
Let me tell you, if I could figure out a way to ship a frozen pizza halfway around the world, I would be forever in the Bestfriend World Record book!
Anyway, you get the point, sending something that means something special JUST to your loved ones maintains that connection no matter the distance.
So when Reina moved overseas to New Zealand, oddly enough I was already planning a trip to New Zealand and Australia for later that year. So not only did I go to Wellington to see her, but her and her husband flew to Auckland to meet me! We went Blackwater rafting, we found a black sand beach and had the best time. I spent a few days in Wellington, and then Reina joined me for a few days in Sydney as I continued my tour.
It was the first time we had traveled anywhere together, but it was so much fun! Until the point where she broke her finger when we went Whitewater rafting (another one of my crazy ideas), but she was such a BOSS about it!
Experiencing a new place together added something special to our friendship. It brought us both out of our comfort zone a little, and it was an experience like no other and I love that I got to share it with her.
Watch TV/Movie together
So Reina and I haven’t actually done this yet, although we’ve been talking about it for almost 3 years now. But there are apps like Rabbit and Gaze or a chrome extension Netflix Party, where you can watch a movie on Netflix, or a show on Hulu and have it synced to each person's computer so you could watch it together.
Essentially just trying to keep some of the things you both love alive, regardless of the distance.
In any case, I recommend trying some of these examples or finding your own unique things to do to keep your connection strong. It does take time and effort, but it's completely worth it! A little something like distance can’t break a strong relationship unless you let it. And hopefully, Comfort Eats can help make that a little bit easier… well, at least the snacks part.
Until next time!