The Key to Nurturing Far-Away Friendships

Absence can make the heart grown fonder—but distance can be difficult.

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As the saying goes, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” I reflect on these words as I brace myself for one of my best friends to move across the country next month. Creating space for her amazing opportunity has made me increasingly aware of the large gap that will be left when she’s gone. Whether you have made the move yourself or watched buddies come and go, we all have friends in far places.

I acknowledge that as you remain present in your daily life it may be hard to incorporate far away loved ones. Since I travel constantly I am very conscious of the effort it takes to cherish friends both near and far.

Here are five ways to stay connected and nurture friendships from a distance:

Write a Note a Week to Someone You Miss

Create a ritual around honoring your far-away friends. Emails and text messages are an easy way to update each other, but handwritten snail mail means so much more—especially for friends who have moved to a new city to start fresh. A letter from home can make a tough day infinitely lighter. Sending flowers can also work to spread a little sunshine from a distance.

Reflect on the Importance of Their Friendship

Old friends become a piece of your soul. With numerous ways to connect virtually, our ability to stay connected becomes that much easier. Taking time to reflect on the people who rise above the Facebook friend status can help you focus your efforts on your truest friends. These are the friends who, no matter the amount of time spent apart, make it feel like none has passed. When you talk you’re both right back on the same page of your friendship, and the relationship is full of deep understanding of your lives and the obstacles between phone calls. It means moments of silence without wondering what’s next and a level of ease that makes you feel at home in their presence, whether that’s on the phone, in a letter, or by their side.

Journey Together

You may miss the day-to-day highs and lows from when your friend lived closer, but experiencing a new destination together is an easy way to create new memories and a fun way to strengthen a distance relationship. Planning a trip together also ensures you’ll stay connected leading up to it and give you both something to look forward to.

Meditate and Send Them Some Love

Take a moment in your meditation practice to send love to friends and family who you miss. I often dedicate my yoga practice to someone in my life who needs a little extra love. In doing this, you strengthen your bond with—and empathy for—someone who is important to you, while filling your heart with all of the love. There is something special about meditating on the best life not only for yourself, but for someone else.

Create a Share Journal to Write Back and Forth

Bring it back to grade school: Take out your composition notebook and start a share journal. You can write a funny story, share a poem, or even get creative with some art. These books can hold memories that go beyond the weekly or monthly phone call catch-ups. A shared creative endeavor can strengthen the bond between far-away friends as you continue grow together while being apart.

Photo by Jake Laub

camCameron Cler is traveler at heart, obsessed with seeing the world and discovering ways to contribute to positive global change. As a registered yoga teacher, she balances her constant travel and work in the startup world by channeling her inner yogi and welcoming peace in chaotic moments. Her passion is cultivating creativity and inspiration while sharing travel stories, yoga classes, wellness tips, and smiles with her friends, family, and students.