Fun ways to stay connected with family and friends around the world

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For happiness and well-being, it is essential to surround ourselves with friends and family. Studies show that strengthening relationships can lead to a longer lifespan. For those who live far from their loved ones, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to keep in touch. There are many ways to communicate with loved ones, even if they’re far away.

Here are 20 ways to have memorable and fun experiences with friends and family around the globe, from virtual happy hours to exploring outer space.

Enjoy a virtual happy hour with your friends.

You can raise your glasses in person to enjoy socializing with friends and family over drinks. Virtual happy hours can be a great way to connect across time zones when distance is a barrier. FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype, and Zoom allow you to have a few drinks with family and friends while keeping happy hour alive. Choose a time that suits everyone and send out a calendar invite. You can also share your favorite cocktails or mocktail recipes. It’s five o’clock anywhere in the world.

Establish a remote book club

A small book club can be a great way to meet fellow book lovers and introduce you to a new author. Invite family members, friends, and others to meet up virtually to discuss the book. Join an existing book club to make connections with people around the globe. Rebel Book Club hosts monthly virtual book discussions in six cities worldwide. Are you looking for book ideas? You can find book ideas on Goodreads by browsing the 50 most popular Book Club Books.

Host a virtual gaming night

You can keep the game night tradition alive with a virtual game night hosted by family and friends. Host a fun-filled evening with friends to combat the blues of distance and get your adrenaline pumping (and a little friendly competition). Houseparty allows up to eight people at once and includes games such as Heads Up, Chips, and Guac.

You can travel the globe together – virtually.

You can’t travel to visit your partner, family members, or friends. The internet allows you to “travel” together around the globe without ever leaving your home. You can visit the Paris Catacombs via your computer chair or use Google Maps to explore the entire range of Google Maps. This includes everything from the Palace of Versailles and the Colosseum to the base camp of Mt. Everest.

A video can help you celebrate special occasions.

Are you unable to travel for an anniversary, birthday, or another milestone event? Distance does not mean you can’t celebrate. You have to make them new. Send a personalized video of you and a touching message to someone special. Although it may not be as memorable as celebrating in person with your loved ones, the recipient will have the video message for life. You can go the extra mile by coordinating with friends and family to record a video message for each person you celebrate. Be creative! You can combine the video messages to create a unique keepsake that your receiver will treasure for years.

Snatch mail is the old way to go.

Many of us yearn for “inbox zero,” but receiving a letter or card in the mail is always lovely. It doesn’t matter if you’re sending a letter or a card for a special occasion or just because; remember the importance of delivering empathetic mail.

Watch your favorite shows together and binge-watch them.

It’s fun to start a virtual book club together with loved ones. However, it’s also great to binge-watch your favorite shows with them. Distance doesn’t have the power to create a divide between you, your loved ones, and your favorite shows. With features like group chat and synchronized playback, streaming services like Netflix Party allow you to enjoy your favorite shows across time zones.

Cook together and share your recipes

It can be a bonding activity between family members and friends. Fortunately, you can still get together in the kitchen remotely. Ask your mom to show you how to make your favorite childhood dish. You can also host a party or start a book club to stay in touch. Every week, have everyone choose a recipe to cook. Set aside time for a virtual meeting to discuss your successes and failures. Are you looking for inspiration in the kitchen? You can learn new skills and techniques online through cooking classes or chef-hosted demos (such as Chef Jose Andres’s Instagram).

Online ordering allows you to share a meal.

Food is a way to connect, so it’s good that you can be close to your loved ones and friends when sharing a meal. You can set up a time to enjoy a meal together via Skype or another digital conference provider. Invite everyone to join a FaceTime call or digital conference provider and enjoy a meal together. Do you want to do it all? You can make it formal, even if they are having brunch.

You can attend a concert in the comfort of your home.

Nothing is better than seeing your favorite band with your loved ones. Live streaming is available at many concerts and festivals around the globe. Reach out to your family and friends to arrange a viewing from your home. NPR Music provides a list with links to live audio and streaming.

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