Maybe you are the adventurous type.
You love to travel and move from city to city following a dream. You’ve studied abroad, taken an internship in the big city, and have squeezed everything you own in your Honda Civic on more than one occasion. Every new place brought you new food, new experiences, but most importantly, new friends, some the best ones you have ever made.
Or maybe you are the friend. And the mention of the things above makes you want run and jump in your bed, disappear under a sea of blankets and never come out. But whether you are the home-loving friend or the gypsy soul, you’ve likely got friends scattered across the globe.
You may have met during travel or you’ve now been separated by time and jobs far away, but despite the distance, “goodbye” was never an option. Thanks to technology, it is easy for us to stay connected with people we may never physically see again for years.
But there are the struggles that come along with your multiple long-distance relationships as well. These are the all-to-familiar realities we face when our best friends live all over the world.
1. Skype is your best and absolute worst friend
You have been waiting for weeks to catch up with your friend in Spain and NOW Skype decides to glitch up. It was perfect when you Skype-d with your friend on the East Coast last week, but now all you get is a fuzzy image that freezes every 15 seconds. But alas, while you may have to communicate through frozen screens and delayed audio, it is the closest thing you have to being physically together again. And everyone totally hugs their computer when they say goodbye. It’s normal, I swear.
2. As “disconnected” as social media is, it does in fact, keep you connected
Sure, no one likes someone who spends all their time on Instagram and Facebook, ignoring the world around them. But thanks to social media, I get to check-in everyday and watch love stories, personal accomplishments, and growing families through small, square, filtered photos. I’ve never met my friend in Michigan’s boyfriend, but I already love him. I got to hear all about a friend in Georgia’s engagement just hours after it happened. And I get to celebrate with old friends as they achieve new accomplishments and goals. As much as social media gets a bad wrap, you know it gives you a daily dose of your loved ones and it keeps you together.
3. Good laughs and virtual happy times are just a click away
It has been three years since you have seen each other, but that doesn’t stop you from sending hilarious new cat videos to a bestie you made in Florida. It makes you think of him and getting his equally pleased reaction (complete with an unhealthy amount of emojis) kinda feels like a virtual hug. It makes being apart just a little bit easier.
4. Visits are always planned, even if they are months or years away
Travel is expensive. And making plans to take time off work for a vacation can be both hard and drawn out. There is no question that you want to see your friends, but with so many of them in different places, it takes some organization. You frequently buy plane tickets months in advance and save up vacation time for a cruise you know you want to take the following year. Even if nothing is set in stone, there is always a “plan” to see your friends again. You will never accept the thought of anything else.
5. Texts or chat messages in the middle of the night are totally okay from them, and only them
Your phone goes off at 4am. You shoot up from deep inside a dream of your under water wedding to Ryan Gosling. You wonder who in the world is awake at this hour to disrupt your ultimate fantasy. Your phone displays a text from your friend in Boston who felt the need to share her adventures last night with you despite the 3-hour time difference. You can’t help but forgive these people and you usually stay up to text them back, even if it is just to show them you care even in the wee hours of the morning.
6. Being reunited proves that nothing changes true friendship
Whether you have been apart for a couple months or a couple of years, after an epic, slow motion hug at the airport and a couple of happy tears, you can literally pop down in their passenger seat and pick up exactly where you left off. You moan about so-and-so’s annoying Instagram posts and you both already know that you are stopping for coffee on the way home – even though neither of you had to say so. There is never any need to “catch up” because you are always in the know of who they are dating and what they had for dinner last night. You guys are seriously on top of it.
7. When they call you it is game over
Sooo you did have plans with your boyfriend tonight, but then your best friend in Texas calls you and you know you aren’t going to be going anywhere for at least the next 3 hours. You don’t even realize you’ve been talking for a long time until you have to switch the burning hot phone over to a new ear. Eating, showering, laundry, sleeping and attention for your significant other all get put on hold when your long distance besties ring you up. You have got your priorities down.
8. They may never know it, but they inspire you every day
Though it may be the one thing you never actually talk about, watching and hearing about your friends successes and accomplishments from afar, drives you to push for new goals for yourself. New jobs, eating healthy, training for a big event, finishing school. You watch your friends go through these chapters of life and you are in turn inspired to follow in their footsteps or alongside them. While we may gush about Beyoncé and chat endlessly about how much we love Taylor Swift, but our greatest role models are really each other and always will be. No matter the distance and no matter the time.