Here’s how true friendships make it work.
After freshman year of high school, my best friend Inés and her family moved from Los Angeles to Barcelona. Historically speaking, being six thousand miles apart tends to do no good for a friendship. However, thanks to modern technology it is possible to maintain friendships for across the globe. It is not always easy, but nearly a decade later, Inés and I are still friends today. Here’s how we make it work.
Long-distance calling is a beautiful nightmare. It can be so nice to hear the voice of a loved one during a period of separation, but the calling rates are tragically expensive. Thanks to Skype, you can place international calls to other computers with Skype account for free! Added bonus: Skype can place calls to telephones at a very low rate per minute. The one awkward caveat is that Skype has a video-chat feature, and I am rarely (read: never) camera-ready.
Whatsapp is an application for smartphones with which you can send unlimited messages to other Whatsapp users for a dollar per year. I cannot say enough positive things about Whatsapp. It feels as casual as texting, so a long-distance relationship doesn’t feel like an undue burden when you can keep in steady contact.
Good gossip is my guilty pleasure. When you are apart from a friend, do your best to express interest in their faraway life. This is especially fun to catch up with a friend when there is juicy gossip involved. Keep your long-distance friendship spicy with regular gossip sessions.
4. Snail Mail
Sending packages internationally is unreliable, expensive, and requires an oh-so-miserable trip to the post office; but it is completely worth it. Surprise your friend with a hand written letter or a care package. It will be greatly appreciated, and hopefully the favor will be returned!
This is a must: stalk your friend on Facebook. Before calling a friend abroad do a little research. Be aware of your friend’s recent adventures and new friends. This way you can ask for more details about their life abroad. Your friend will appreciate your interest, and this also allows you to be apart of the action.