Creative ways to stay close to your bestie when she moves far, far away

My best friend recently moved to New York City for college, which is both exciting for her and a little heartbreaking for me. Whereas we used to be able to see each other anytime we wanted to, we now have to do some serious planning for face-time, since she’s a five-hour car ride away. While I’m very happy for her for her exciting new life, I don’t want the amazing connection we share to devolve into a series of Facebook ‘likes’ and brief email exchanges. I want to remain close. as close as ever, but maybe in a new way. The important thing is to keep sharing new experiences together, rather than just rehashing our own separate experiences online or on the phone (we’ll do that too!). So, I’ve thought of some fun ideas for staying super-tight—ways to keep sharing the love and the moments together, even if we’re far apart.

Pick a show you both haven’t seen and agree to watch each episode once a week at the same time. Then rehash the best moments together over email. This is a good way to connect, and remain a part of each other’s lives even in the most random way. Turn it into a weekly ritual.

Send them cards, and gifts that remind you of your bestie. This can be anything from a box of her candies, to ridiculous vintage teen magazine poster you found on eBay, to a sweet postcard that says ‘I miss you.’ Showing somebody that you’re thinking about them—with tangible, non-digital evidence—really goes a long way. It’s difficult living far away from everything and everyone you know, and getting snail mail really means a lot.

Go out and buy any type of ice cream, along with ingredients. Have a contest to see who can make the quirkiest ice cream sundae. You can even post the photo on Instagram and have people vote for the one they like the most. The best part about this is that you get an ice cream sundae out of the deal.

Begin a story, and send it back and forth via Google docs. Each of you writes a paragraph, and alerts the other person when you’re done. Once you reach a certain number of pages, print it out and bind it together at a print shop. Make two copies, one for you and one for your friend. You can make this your friendship book. It may sound cheesy, but it’s actually super-creative and special.

Pick out a book to read together. Discuss it on a weekly basis, treating it like a long distance book club. If you want, you can even make yourself finger food during your discussion so it feels like an actual book club meeting. Find a story the resonates with both of you, and just delve into those pages together.

Draw together. Find a place, and draw what’s in front of you. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but you should have fun with it. Afterwards, show each other your masterpieces—via Instagram or text. You can even mail each other your drawings for the other to paint/color in. This could be a fun way to connect, and share in an experience.

Find a half way point between the two of you, and meet up in this random city/town/village for a weird weekend adventure. Find the best local diner, the nearby bowling alley, the random B&B—and treat the weekend like you’re tourists.

While I’m so happy, and super excited for my friend for following her bliss, I don’t want to lose touch. I hope a few of these activities (in addition to lots of texts) keep us connected, and at the same time, motivated to branch out and grow separately. Also, I’m obviously planning a trip to NYC! Here’s to staying close to our besties, no matter where the future takes us.

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