I love to venture off, but I also have a very strong loyalty to a select number of people. I care about them deeply, and the thought of not sharing in life with them is appalling to me. So I make an intentional effort to remain connected. In addition to staying updated, it’s also nice knowing people back home care that you still exist.
On that note, shout out to everyone that has made efforts to stay connected with or respond to me whenever I’m away. Stateside, or international. I can’t express how much I appreciate you giving me any second of your time.
It’s magical to see how the truest of relationships do not need proximity for closeness. Plus, you get to sound really cool with all your fun abroad stories! Technology is also a magical thing, and you no longer need to rely on snail mail or fork over the investment in an international phone plan to keep your loved ones close. So:
Send a snapchat. Keep a group Facebook message going with the girls. Start exchanging emails with your best friend. Text your brother. Skype your parents on Sundays. Facetime your roommate.
Maybe now I should explain what I mean by the right places. Staying connected to friends and family is important. BUT it’s just as important to connect WHERE YOU ARE AT. Actively engage in your physical environment, not sending all your social energy back home via the networks and interwebs. Visiting home from college? Make those old friends and family your priority for that time. Going a little farther away, like, oh I don’t know STUDYING ABROAD? Like, let’s say, in China; literally half a world away. Don’t sacrifice plans with the real people around you to Skype home. Engage with your classmates. Your new roommate. Your fellow countrymen (countryperson? Whatever.) Even the cabbies! Stay connected with where you are so that the memories you make and the stories you create are richer, fuller, and have more characters in them. So:
Use the local social media. Go to a bar. Watch a world cup game with someone who cares, even if Lord knows you don’t. Find a rooftop. Eat lots of food with lots of people. Visit the local hot spots. Learn some stuff.
Basically: engage with people, old and new. People are worth knowing, and your life will be richer for it.