Looking back, I'm surprised it took me as long as it did to truly, deeply miss my friends. But I couldn't avoid that sadness forever, and at some point mid-February I began to realize how weird it is to know there are so many amazing people not in Toronto with me.
Luckily, I had practice with this long-distance friendship thing ever since my best friend moved to Hong Kong. She's the one in the photo below and you can tell I'm still bitter she moved half-way around the world from me because I know she'll hate me for picking that photo.
Still, it's not easy having loved ones spread so far and wide. Social media may make it easier to keep in touch, but you still have to put in effort to maintain genuine, deep relationships with the people you care about. So I'm sharing my top three tips to making international friendships work. These are the main things that have made time zones and distance feel a little smaller when I wish they were near.
Oh, and I'm peppering in some solid flashbacks of people I particularly miss, just for the nostalgia.
1. video chat wine dates
Talking on the phone isn't always enough. Scheduling out times to see the other person's face slowly become more and more intoxicated? That's what friendship is all about!
2. do the cheesy things
I'm so thrilled best friend necklaces have made a mini-comeback. They may seem lame when your BFF is a quick cab away but when you're timezones apart, a cheesy symbol that person is in your life can make a huge difference. For the ultimate cheese factor, I'm 100% ordering these amazing MACCS the label t-shirts.
3. snapchat shamelessly
Making stupid faces while taking a selfie in public embarassing? Buck up! I don't know what puts a smile on my face faster than seeing a snap come in from someone I miss. Send out random moments of your life, it helps make your bestie feel like they are there with you.
Bonus Preemptive Tip You Need to Start Doing Now
Take more photos
I didn't take enough photos in the moment. Ironic for a photographer, I know. But rather than be able to include a photo of my girl Caroline, I had to use her adorable son because Caroline and I seemingly have no photos together, and that's a travesty.
Take photos of the every day. Take photos of moments that seem to have little significance. Take photos of the routine. Because more often than not, those are the photos that will eventually bring you the most joy.