Living Long Distance: Navigating the Miles Between You and Loved Ones

After receiving a job offer that could majorly affect the trajectory of my career, and mine and my husband’s future, we left our home in Florida and moved to Winston-Salem nearly four years ago. While moving out of state can be scary in itself, we were also leaving all of our friends and family behind and the state we had each called home for close to all of our lives. When people ask me if I miss Florida, I always reply, “I miss my people.” Truly, living long distance from your loved ones can be challenging.

When I relocated one of my biggest concerns was staying in touch with friends and family and not losing our closeness.  I realized there are so many little ways to keep those relationships going even when there are hundreds of miles between you.

As long as you and your loved ones have the want in your heart to stay close and the motivation to do what you can to keep in touch, there is no reason to worry.

After all, don’t they say absence makes the heart grow fonder?

Use Technology to Your Advantage

The world we live in is filled with tools perfectly matched to long distance relationships and communication! While you may sometimes find yourself overwhelmed with technology and wanting to feel unplugged, it’s a phenomenal resource for staying in touch with people. Social media is one of those ways to feel like you are still connected to your favorite people and allows you to see photos and updates from their daily or weekly lives. It can help you share and see things that you may not necessarily bring up on the next phone call. I don’t even know where I would be without the invention of Facetime and Skype! Being able to speak face-to-face from miles away makes you feel closer. Find out which app your family finds easier and make sure to utilize this whenever that homesickness starts to creep in.

Find a Time That Works for Everyone

There is so much going on in everyone’s lives that one of the hardest parts about staying in touch can often be navigating everyone’s schedules. Finding a time that works once a week or once a month for both parties can be a great way to make sure too much time doesn’t pass in between conversations. My sister-in-law calls every Friday night for a quick catch up phone call with my husband and me since that’s the time that works best for all of us.  If the schedule doesn’t work all the time, that’s ok- the important thing is that having a time set aside keeps each person on the other’s mind.

Send Some Happy Mail

While technology offers us an immediate gratification of sorts, there is still something to be said for good old fashioned snail mail! Who doesn’t love opening the mailbox to find something other than bills? Create a document with all of your long distance contacts’ mailing addresses, so you have them on hand throughout the year. Birthdays, holidays and other special occasions are perfect opportunities to show some love from across the miles with a gift or card. Pick up a book of stamps every few months so that when the mood strikes to write a quick note when you’re missing your parent or to cheer up a friend, you don’t have anything standing in the way. Next time you order something from Amazon, save a few boxes and bubble wrap, so that if you want to ship a care package, you have what you’ll need on hand!

Don’t Let Homesickness Get You Down

There have been times when living far away from some of my closest family and friends has really weighed on my shoulders. Being homesick is such a normal part of living long distance! Particularly times where you feel like you’re missing out on making memories with people, such as during the holidays or at celebrations. Do not let these moments be spent alone. Instead,  reach out to the person you’re missing and remind them how important they are to you. On the other hand, also take those moments to spend time with the friends or family that you do have nearby. It’s possible to embrace the life you have around you and send your love to the ones you wish were nearby.



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