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Staying Connected In Long Distance Family Relationships

From Future Female: Fall/Winter 2020 Issue

I moved from Ontario to British Columbia almost seven years ago.

I have tried my best to make it back for every wedding, baby shower, reunion, funeral, and any other important milestone that I can, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to deal with when I do miss the odd family moment. Not having your family’s constant presence in your life can be extremely hard.

Both my husband and I live away from family; mine are in Ontario and his are is England. Living away from family is tough. This was further emphasized during recent isolation and quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As many others know and have experienced, it was really challenging to cope without family during those difficult moments over the last few months, when all we wanted to do was hug and be in the presence of our loved ones.

Since provinces began re-opening, we are lucky to have escaped back home to Ontario to visit my family, but we are anxiously awaiting the ability to visit home in England.

To help deal with living away from our families, we have come up with five things we do to feel connected and close to our families.

Schedule Video Calls

We try to phone our parents and siblings or have video calls with them at least once every few days to catch up. These conversations sometimes include one or both of us cooking, cleaning, and even eating and drinking together. For important events such as birthdays, Christmas, and major life milestones, we schedule special time to celebrate them together.

Send Snail Mail

Sending birthday cards, Christmas cards, and gifts in the mail has been a really special way to keep in touch. A few times a year we are even lucky enough to get care packages filled with British treats sent from England.

Group Chats

Having a family group chat is an important way to connect. We send daily photos, updates, and funny memes, and we celebrate each other’s wins with both of our families on WhatsApp.

Print and Send Physical Photos

Having family photos printed and displayed around our home ensures we feel surrounded by our loved ones. We have even sent and received printed photos and albums from our family members, which is another beautiful way to feel connected and loved.

Plan Group Vacations

Meeting in different parts of the world has been a highlight of living away from our families. It has given us the opportunity to meet in some incredible places and have unforgettable experiences together. Some of our adventures include trips to Florida, Boston, Amsterdam, Portugal, Antigua, Muskoka, Kelowna, and Whistler, as well as a Rocky Mountain and Pacific coast road trip. When we got married, we decided to have a destination wedding in Jamaica, so we could have a full week of selfish uninterrupted time with our families. This was so magical, and it is a time in our lives that we will cherish forever, as we finally got to blend all our friends and families and share unforgettable moments with them.

As hard as it is not to see our family as much as we would like to, when we do go home, we find we get the best out of our families. We plan to see them and celebrate in a bigger way since we don’t usually have the luxury of doing so. Those moments always feel special and like we are getting the best parts of our family’s time and energy.

The distance definitely makes us appreciate the days we are able to spend together when we are in person. It reminds us that every moment is special and needs to be cherished.


Click here to read the rest of this issue - Future Female: Fall/Winter Issue 2020


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