July 15, 2012

I just finished a whirlwind trip to visit friends and family in three metro areas in neighboring states halfway across the country.

It was a test in sleep-deprivation and scheduling – trying to fit in a maximum number of visits, while shuttering the guilt pangs of knowing we couldn't possibly see everyone. Orchestrating the shuffling between homes and re-acquainting of my children with those of my friends. Fitting in local attractions and kid-focused adventures between leisurely adult-conversation-rich dinners.

It was SO worth it!

The in-person chatting with treasured friends rejuvenated my soul.

Our kids are at a fabulous age to connect quickly and they left each home with new best buds. I, too, felt reluctant to end each visit. Then, upon arrival at the next stop, was instantly enthralled with catching up on the latest escapades and relishing in the warmth of long-established bonds.

Perhaps our annual summer trek should become semi-annual. Oh, if only travel time and funds were in greater supply! Because we were the ones who've moved away, a greater burden lies with us to make these journeys. But many "besties" who are able have made the journey our way, and for each visit we are grateful.

As so many of us relocate now and again due to career or other reasons, we gather friends in each community. Certainly, some of these bonds will weaken over time, but others will strengthen, no matter the distance. It is up to you which way they go.

I've found old-fashioned techniques work best to maintain these valued relationships. A real phone call, over a text. A hand-sent birthday greeting over an e-card. Emails and facebook posts allow us to stay connected and up on current happenings, but taking those extra minutes to hear a friend's voice allows you to dig deeper. Kids may ripple the smooth flow of conversation, but it will still refill your cup. And when possible – go there, invite them to your city, or organize a meet-up half-way.

Take time to nurture those long-distance friendships – they're worth it!

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