If you leave home for a long time, your social life can be seriously disrupted. While absence may indeed make the heart grow fonder, it can also cause people to forget who you ever were. Maintaining healthy relationships with people that you’ve left behind can be a difficult task, but it’s worth making at least a little bit of effort for.
Moving out of your normal environment can cause you to quickly realize who you’re actually close with and who is merely an acquaintance you socialize with out of circumstance. Acquaintances come and go, and you’re likely to make quite a few while traveling. However, the friends and family that are more significant to you deserve some consideration as you gallivant around the world and they’re stuck at home. Taking a little bit of effort to make a free call with Skype or send a postcard for a few yen or pesos will make a surprisingly large impact on the other end. Sending long emails back and forth can be tiring, but is worthwhile if that exchange is valuable enough to both of you to warrant the time spent endlessly writing emails. If you find yourself rewriting the same updates and stories again and again to tell different people, you may be better off starting a basic travel blog or sending mass emails in order to reach more of your people at once. Blogs can be especially worthwhile, as they don’t take much more effort to put together, but can easily include photos and make a nice composite record of your trip that will always be accessible. You can use it as a journal for yourself.
If you’re leaving a romantic partner behind temporarily, there are several additional considerations. Long distance relationships are difficult, even if you have a date set that you’ll be returning home. Your partner deserves the attention that you can give them, but at the same time you deserve the freedom to enjoy your trip without feeling tethered to the responsibility of daily emails and nightly calls. Discuss expectations with the person beforehand, (are you gonna fly home sporadically, or fly them to you? It’s an expensive decision, although sites like FlightHub can help) so they don’t feel neglected and you don’t feel overtaxed. Agreeing to see other people in the meantime and then get back together on your return is rarely a recipe for a healthy reunion or a clean break—more often, it results in jealousy and harsh feelings. Think very carefully before agreeing to an arrangement that could easily hurt both of you.
Buying gifts for people while you’re abroad is a thoughtful and time-honored tradition, but you should also be realistic about your budget, ability to carry things, and how close you really are with people back home.. Whenever you can hold off on purchasing things until the end of your trip, do so. You may also consider stocking up on gifts that are characteristic of the place you are going. For example when travelling in Asia, you should definitely go to the street markets. I would even recommend going to Singapore. You will be able to find many hand crafted souvenirs to bring for your love ones at a really cheap price. Singapore is one of these modern cities that have been able to develop its economy quickly while conserving its culture and authenticity. You can easily find last minutes hotel deals in Singapore whether you are visiting the city for a business trip or for your vacation. You will have to find some time to walk thought the fresh food markets and take advantage of this occasion to find some authentic items that would be appreciated by many different recipients when you get back. This can remove a lot of the stress, allowing you to explore the city, learn about the culture and save you money as well—shops with flexible prices will generally give good discounts for purchasing many similar items at once.
Whatever you do, it’s important to maintain the relationships that you’ve built up over your life. Traveling long-term is a great opportunity for self-reflection and gaining independence, but you shouldn’t forget those that helped you get to where you are. Keep them in mind, wherever you go.