From long-distance relationships to long-distance running, often things relating to long-distance are viewed negatively but just because these two words are placed in front of another does not automatically make this object, activity, or relationship negative.
Of course something that is far away, especially friendships, can be inconvenient and difficult to maintain but you should never assume that there aren’t any positives too. You may be surprised to find that more often than not, the positives will usually outweigh the negatives.
With my childhood and lifelong best friend living in a different country, 17 hours flying time from me, and a large list of friends that are my penpals, exchange student ‘sisters’, people I have met traveling, etc, I definitely know what I am talking about when it comes to long distance friends, so here are my 9 reasons long-distance friends are awesome.
Yeah yeah, I know that friends that live around the corner can surprise you too but there is nothing quite like opening the door to see your ‘long-lost’ friend on the other side who has driven, flown, caught a train, and taken the time to design and pull off this cheeky yet brilliant plan to spend time with you.
Or even better, seeing the look on their face when they open the door to find you on the other side.
2 – Mystery parcels in the mail
These days it’s so quick and easy to keep in touch with long-distance friends that you can easily forget they are somewhere very different to you. So spicing things up with some old-fashioned snail-mail can be a fun and exciting thing to try. Letters and postcards are good and all but they will never be as exciting as a package filled with cool, foreign items (food is always the best).
Since I was about 7 or 8 I have had traditional penpals in places ranging from the UK, USA, Canada, and even Belize, and we would have so much fun sending each other ‘cultural care packages’. You can see the type of things I would send them and how strange some of them may have seemed, but when their packages arrived on my doorstep I couldn’t wait to open them and find out a bit more about where they live.
This particular point can also be linked with surprises, especially if your postal systems are very unpredictable, which I have experienced with penpals in some more remote parts of the world. The surprise might be lessened a little if you know the date of arrival for your letter, package or postcard but SURPRISE! it is 2 days early or not-so-much SURPRISE! it is several weeks late!
3 – You get to do some bragging
Okay, this point isn’t exactly about trying to make your friends back home jealous about how cool it is to have a long-distance friend (okay, maybe it is).
Whether you’re eating some of the amazing foreign food you received in the mail and your ‘regular’ friends ask you where you even found all of that cool stuff, and you get to say that your awesome long-distance friend sent it to you, or your ‘regular’ friends are talking about all these incredible places around the world and you can say that you have friends there, long-distance friends are not only the best to have but they can also be pretty handy when it comes to making you seem even more interesting than you already are. Which I didn’t even think was possible because we are pretty interesting people already!
Your ‘regular’ friends may get tired of hearing all of your awesome long-distance bestie stories and get jealous of all the cool food you are eating but it is always good to know that your long-distance friend is there for you (not there as in standing next to you but yeah, you know what I mean). “It does look great there doesn’t it? My French friend lives near there and she showed me around.”
4 – You never get sick of each other
Being so far apart means you never get sick of each other, however, you may get sick of poor internet connections.
Again, this is a little bit of an exaggeration because what it really should be is that it is harder for long-distance friends to annoy and bore each other or get tired of each other’s company. The reason for this is because these friends aren’t constantly around you, asking you to hang out and messaging you all the time.
They know, and you know, that if either of you needs each other you have each other’s backs, also, if long distance friends do start to annoy each other they can easily spend some time without each other by simply not Facetiming, Skyping or Messaging.
5 – You always have something new to talk about.
Long-distance friends are usually the friends that you don’t need to see every day or talk to every minute because when you do see them and when you do talk to them it is like you never stopped seeing or talking to them, those are the best kind of friends you can get.
You and this friend live two completely different lives in different cities which means that you always have different things to talk about. It’s not just the local-bubble conversation like “Did you know that…”, “Yeah, I was there too.”, “Oh, I forgot”.
Although, some of the time you may have no idea who or what they are talking about because things are so different it can end up being really interesting, and just like an addiction to a television show you keep wanting to know what is going on in these places and peoples lives that you don’t really know at all but it feel like you do.
6 – Meet new people, see new things.
As mentioned above long-distance friends will often talk about these places and people that they know and live around but it is not only conversations that introduce you to these people and places. If you are lucky enough and get the timing right you will get to be around to experience them for yourself! How else was this Aussie girl ever going to get the chance of going to an American High School Prom?
These new places and new people can even lead you to more new places and new people. It is a beautiful and expanding cycle of long-distance friendships.
For those of you who have not seen my ‘How to get free accommodation’ post, you definitely should, and for those of you who have, you know that having great friends across the world is the answer!
I really don’t need to explain too much about this point because everything you need to know is in that post, but the short version is that when you have those type of amazing friends they would never want you to stay anywhere but with them.
8 – It’s worth putting in some extra effort
A lot of people think that having to put more effort into a friendship is a negative but that is not always the case, especially when it comes to long-distance friends.
I do not know if you all agree but to me, the more effort you both put into the friendship shows the more you care about each other as well as highlighting that you both want to build your friendship. Yes, it can get exhausting and difficult sometimes but more often than not these long-distance friends are worth any extra effort that may be needed!
9 – Your time together is always the best
Similar to the points about always having things to talk about and new places/people, because there are so many different things in each of your lives it is always so much fun to be there with them or them with you.
It may seem overwhelming at first to have so many differences and trying to see how you fit into it all when you are with them but it is surprising how easily you can blend with each other’s lives. You never know, they might have been bragging to all of their ‘regular’ friends about you!
With long-distance friends, when you do get time together, you make sure to make the most of it because often it is short and the time in between seeing each other is long. It is almost like you should try to squeeze in all the time you have missed within a tiny period of time but whether you can or can’t do all the things you wanted the most important thing is that you are finally with your long-distance friend and you are pretty lucky to be together!
“DISTANCE MEANS SO LITTLE, WHEN SOMEONE MEANS SO MUCH”