They’re the ones you call crying after a breakup, and the ones you text fifty times a day. They’re your right-hand women, your #1 fans and your lifesavers. Your life wouldn’t be the same without them, because they’re your BFFs. But although you’re joined at the hip when you’re together, college can often leave you hundreds of miles, states and even sometimes oceans away from your best friends. So what’s a girl to do when her best friendships suddenly become long distance relationships? Read on for some creative ways to stay in touch with your BFFs when Skype, texting and phone calls just aren’t cutting it anymore.
The Traveling Journal
Alison Storm has known her four best friends since high school (Melissa, Dawn, Tonya, Morgenne), and some of them have even been in her life since elementary school. After high school, all five women attended college in Iowa but found themselves dispersed between Iowa State, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa. After college, they ended up living in five states, four time zones and on both coasts of the United States.
Alison remembers coming up with the idea of The Traveling Journal because she was lonely. “It was 2001, I was missing my friends and I had a blank journal. I decided to write in it, paste in some photos and send it on its way. I really didn't know if I would ever see it again, but the idea was to circulate the journal as a way to share our lives together even though we lived so far away from one another.”
And so the idea of the traveling journal was born. Akin to a real-life version of “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”, the journal has been circulating between the five friends since 2001, and they still continue the tradition today. “We've written about births, deaths, weddings, boyfriends (lots of boyfriends!), jobs, homes, all the stuff that happens in life,” says Alison. “And we can all say that it's hard to send it on because we feel closer to each other when we have it in our possession.”
Alison and her friends have now started their own company and sell traveling journals to keep women across the country connected (check it out here). They believe strongly in the power of snail mail to keep people together.
So why should you invest in a traveling journal? We all know that sometimes talking on the phone or even chatting on Skype just doesn’t cut it. There’s something wonderful about sharing a tangible piece of writing with your BFFs, plus getting mail from your friends can absolutely make your day!
“It is absolutely priceless now to be able to go back and revisit my friend’s and my thoughts and dreams from that point in our lives (post-college),” says Alison. “Facebook, emails, and text messages really can't compete with sharing a journal. Facebook can be so public, emails can get buried, text messages are deleted, but a shared journal is something you can always hold and treasure—as long as it doesn't get lost in the mail!”