Originally from Houston, Tx, Selena is currently teaching English in Rabat, Morocco.
It’s no secret that making (and keeping) friendships can be difficult. This gets more difficult once you leave college and realize that adulthood doesn’t come with a set of new best friends the way freshmen year of college did.
It’s even worse when you decide to move to the other side of the world away from your childhood and university friends. How do you make sure to maintain those meaningful friendships while creating new ones? Well that’s what I’ve trying to figure out the past 7 months (YES, it’s been that long!!) that I have lived in Morocco. When I first got here I wrote a list of the people that I needed to keep in contact with. It was a way to keep me in check. Unfortunately, I didn’t do a very good job with most of the people but I’m working on improving that. It’s definitely difficult to keep in touch with people in a different time zone once adult life really starts. With my crazy work schedule and the fact that I’m usually awake when my friends are asleep, it can get tricky to find ways to communicate.
Thank God there are smart phones and I have relatively fast internet (although it can be TERRIBLE sometimes). I have managed to create a solid schedule to keep in touch with friends and I’m so glad I have. On days when I feel homesick or stressed or just want to gossip, I know that I reach out to my besties through WhatsApp, Facebook, or Insta.
So how do I keep my long-distance friendships?
Well…I am amazing (or obsessive) with my calendar and I schedule Skype sessions and check-ins. Obviously it doesn’t always happen according to my plans but it helps to have the reminders.
One of my besties from Houston and I Skype every Wednesday so that we can watch a movie on Netflix while we are Skyping. When I’m in Houston we love having movie nights so this is our version of long distance movie nights and I love it! We get to catch up on our lives and enjoy a horror film. We also talk throughout the week on WhatsApp but this is our moment to really hang out even if we are in different parts of the world. Our highlight is when Skype mentioned us on Twitter cause of our weekly Skype dates. Felt preppy cool tbh…
I’m also very lucky that some of my closest friends were able to visit me during my spring vacation. My childhood bestie and one of my college besties came to visit me in Morocco and we went on an European trip together. It was really great for them to meet each other and to have this experience with people I love so much.
Overall, it can be hard to keep healthy long-distance friendships but it’s definitely worth it to put the work. Sometimes I just have to remind myself that if I’m on my phone while riding in a taxi, then all I need to do is open my FB messenger and check in on a friend. Even if it feels like I’m constantly on the move and that my time is limited, it’s important to make times for those that matter.