I didn’t think it could happen, but the more hubby and I travel in our RV, the less we seem to see our friends once we get home. Some of our long-time friendships no longer seem as “close” as they once were. The phrase “out of sight, out of mind” unfortunately has held true for friends we leave behind when we are on the road.
I first noticed the consequence of our long absence from home when a close friend’s child graduated from high school. We were not invited to the celebration. Friends didn’t know we’d be in town on “party day” so we didn’t make the invited list. I don’t blame them. Really! Over the past five years, we’ve been away from home for short trips as well as travels that lasted months at a time. But now I wonder what friendships will be like if/when we give up our traveling ways.
How to stay in touch with old and new friends
Sure, we’ve made friends on our journeys. Many of these “new” friends seem almost as important to us as the people we’ve known for years. I suppose the shared experience of RVing somehow “bonds” RVers together. Well, new friends or old, I know that I want to keep and enrich those friendships as best I can. Here are some ideas I’ve decided to try:
- Phone friends. Ask how they’re doing. Tell them when you expect to be home and plan a day/time to get together. (Be sure to follow up!)
- Keep in touch via email. It’s not the same as hearing a friend’s voice, but you can share day-to-day experiences and find out about what’s happening in their lives as well.
- Send postcards from places you visit to friends back home. Or send pictures via your phone or email. Always remember a heartfelt “wish you were here” message!
- Arrange for FaceTime over the phone or use apps like Skype or Zoom to stay in touch face-to-face. It’s not quite the same, but it’s close! (Editor’s Note: Do you know about the Facebook Portal? It’s an easy-to-use high-tech gadget to keep you in touch with family or friends. Read our review.)
- Read the same book chapter together each week and talk about it on Saturday (or a different scheduled day). Or watch a TV show or movie “together” via Netflix Party.
Things to share
- Send your friend a little something in the mail. Maybe beef jerky or a candle from that factory you toured.
- Share an RVtravel.com recipe with a friend and challenge them to make it!
- If you see a silly meme or picture that reminds you of your friend or a memory from your friendship, send it to them.
- When you discover an interesting website, send the link to your friend.
- To stay in touch with several friends, form a “secret Facebook group.” Here’s how: Click the “Privacy” pull-down menu at the bottom of the dialog box and select “Secret.” Click the blue “Create” button.
- Remember birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions by sending a card. (Hint: I use my phone calendar to remind me!)
How do you keep up with friends when you’re traveling? Please share your ideas in the comments below. Tell us what works, and what doesn’t work for you.