There’s a lot to appreciate about the way the world has opened up in recent years. It’s possible to have experiences that half a century ago would have seemed very unlikely. With the Internet ridding us of so many borders, we can easily communicate with people anywhere in the world. We can move and travel more easily. How could that ever be a bad thing?
Well, if you are the kind of person who looks for the cloud when the silver lining is right in front of them, there are some ways. While the opportunity is there to move and work somewhere else, it is there for everyone. You can end up looking on with a mix of envy and sorrow as friends or family move away. Not just to another corner of the country, but to another country completely.
Of course, as the festive season comes around, we think of these people all the more. While we sit and pull crackers, they may be having a barbecue on the beach. Or toasting to Jólakötturinn (read about him. Wow!). You could easily get misty-eyed about it – or you could plan to surprise them with the best gifts ever.
A Little Piece Of Home, Just In Time For Christmas
If you’ve spent an extended period abroad, you will be familiar with how homesickness works. You start to miss the most ridiculous things, such as the weather, a favourite cafe or the diabolical bus service.
You’ll always miss the little treats you could pick up when you were feeling down. Your friends will know this feeling too, but you can buy British food online and have it delivered right to them. It’s worth it if only for the thought of them explaining Tunnock’s Tea Cakes to a bemused Austrian friend.
A Surprise Visit, Sort Of
Let’s be honest, now. An actual surprise visit is stressful enough when the visitor has travelled twenty miles. If they’ve got on a plane and have brought enough clothes for ten days, that’s worse.
What you can do is tell them that you’re coming to see them. You know how when you wave a beloved friend off, you say “We’ll call, and visit, all the time!”. Somehow, it rarely happens like that. This time, follow through.
Arrange dates when it will be good for them – then book and send them a screen grab of the confirmation. That beats any Christmas card you can imagine.
A Hand-Crafted Package Made With Love
Any post office in the country now sells large mailing boxes which can be used to send pretty much anything. So send your friend pretty much anything.
Bake cookies and send them – along with anything they’ll appreciate. Photos, a mix CD (or more likely these days, mix-USB drive). Local newspaper cuttings of those stories that only local newspapers could ever tell with a straight face. The only limit is your imagination.
When friends and family go away, it’s always hard to deal with initially. But in an increasingly connected world, they’re never further away than a few clicks. Your friendship doesn’t need to be lost; showing that the things which connected you are still there will strengthen it.