A TON of online articles talk about how to “do life on the road” with a significant other, with kids, full-time, etc. But what about maintaining friendships and family ties with people who won’t be joining your travels on the road?
Sure, I’ll post my adventures on Insta, Facebook, or TikTok (or all three), but that’s one-sided. Of course, my friends and family can check my feed anytime they like; but realistically, we all live busy lives – so how do I connect with them if we aren’t constantly checking each other’s social channels? They don’t post much, or they might not even HAVE social media accounts?! And what about special occasions, birthdays, etc.?
I did some research, and there are a lot of options out there. Distance and physical absence can make any relationship challenging, especially for those who rely on proximity. So, how will I ensure my relationships don’t turn to dust now that I’ve transitioned to living full-time on the road?
Here’s what I’ve found so far:
At first, I thought it would be a great idea to send people a postcard from the area I was visiting. But the reality is that you can’t write much on a postcard, and believe it or not, they’re not that easy to find! Thankfully, I’ve discovered custom handwritten letters and cards by Handwrytten. I can set the mailings up for an ENTIRE YEAR in advance. I don’t have to search for a post office, stamps, or a mailbox. I can do everything online in advance and not worry about it if I’m off the grid.
Sharing photos and videos
Even though I spend a lot of time on my phone documenting and sharing my journey, I don’t expect my friends and family to catch EVERY post and update on social media. So I have a Collect We Transfer account where I save my best photos and notes. Every topic is contained on a Board, and when I want to share all the pictures for a specific location, I can invite them to view that Board. It’s much easier than gathering images and links and sharing them one by one through email or text.
Phone & Video Calls
Scheduling video calls is much better in theory than in reality. Sure, there’s facetime, Skype, or Zoom, but connecting to calls on the beach or a hike can be challenging. The wind blows over the microphone, there’s a ton of background noise, and it’s a mess. Then you hit the time zone issue; before you know it, you’re three hours behind (or ahead) of everyone else, and that ‘morning chat over coffee’ becomes a 4 am or 5 am call. No thanks!
Group Your Contacts
It’s tempting to manage everything through text messages, but your phone will become a huge distraction if you have a LARGE family or a big group of friends from college. Others use WhatsApp to simplify messaging with groups and keep casual chats off their text message threads. I still use texts to stay in touch, but if the group texts get out of control, I’ll switch to WhatsApp.
Special Occasions and Gifts
It’s a reality of being on the road; you’re going to miss some big events due to logistics, budget, or just bad timing—weddings, baby showers and births, milestone birthdays, holidays, and anything else worth celebrating. Handwrytten’s cards and stationary, along with their selection of gift cards, make it easy to drop a note of love to a friend or family member without the hassle of shopping for a gift or looking for a post office to mail everything.
Let’s face it; proximity keeps relationships intact. Even if I’m not living on the road in the future, my chances of living in the same place as before I started my journey are slim. I’ve always been the one out of my friend group and family to be on the other side of the world. The cool thing about it is that I make friends and connections that I can visit and connect with whenever (or whenever) I wind up in the area again. Using these tools helps me keep in touch with my family and forever friends. I hope they help you stay in touch with everyone that matters to you, too!
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