A best friend is the person you can fall apart in front of, someone whose thoughts you can read with a glance, someone you can see after months or years and immediately fall into comfortable conversation. Those people are rare and irreplaceable.
So, moving to a new city (while it may come with a great new friend or two) doesn't diminish the significance of the connections you've already made. On the contrary, those stable, affirming relationships become even more important.
So, come International Friendship Day (Sunday, August 2), take some time to celebrate the friends who've stuck with you through major life changes, or to reconnect with someone you might've fallen out of touch with. Here are a few ways to commemorate your favorite faraway friends.
1. Schedule a video chat.
Technology makes it incredibly easy to get face time with the people you care about, regardless of distance. I'm guilty of not calling friends or family because I just feel too busy, but who can't spare five or 10 minutes to chat? If you're busy, do it while you're walking somewhere.
2. Send a letter or email expressing your gratitude for their friendship.
Letter writing is so rare these days that the simple act of putting pen to paper, paper in envelope, envelope in mailbox has become a symbol of caring and consideration. If it's too late for you to write and send a letter for timely arrival, an email is a great alternative.
A few tips if you have a hard time getting started: Focus on the traits you appreciate most about them, your favorite memories, or times they really came through for you. In this situation, it really is the thought that counts.
3. Make something from scratch.
If you're artistic, the choice might be easy. Writers can write poems. Painters can paint. But even if you aren't creative in that sense, you can absolutely make a meaningful gift. Bake cookies with a personal touch. Frame a favorite photo of the two of you. Collage mementos from past adventures.
4. Surprise them with a visit.
Now, I'm not suggesting you show up with no warning. But a phone call saying, "Hey, I miss you. When can I plan a trip to see you?" is a fantastic way to make someone feel important — and avoids the undesirable side effect of accidentally inconveniencing them.
5. Send flowers.
No, this is not a gesture reserved for romance and/or Mother's Day! On the rare occasions I've received flowers from friends, I've been pleasantly surprised, touched, and grateful. They'll smile every time they look at the bouquet.
6. Ask how you can help.
Sometimes, even my closest friends sometimes struggle to ask for help. I do, too. And if there's distance between friends, it can seem even more challenging. So, just offer. They might want your expertise on hiring a nanny or your input on their plan to go gluten-free. They might just want a listening ear. They might not need anything at all, but the offer lets them know you care, and it'll make it easier to open those lines of communication in the future.