As time progresses and our lives take us in different directions, it often gets harder to maintain the friendships we have formed. There is one very important thing that I have learnt in life regarding friends matter where you go or who you become your true friends will always be by your side. Distance has been especially hard for me because as friends migrate to other countries we correspond less and seem to grow distant. I know that there may be quite a few people who are going through this and I would therefore like to propose some strategies we can use to hold on to these valuable friendships. Effort goes BOTH ways You may be wondering "Why doesn't she/he Skype me or send me a FB message or a little tweet?". The real question is...why aren't you? It doesn't hurt to be the first to initiate conversation. If he or she is your true friend you will get a response as soon as he or she sees the message.

Don't take things personally Sometimes your friend may be extremely busy with a new job or adjusting to a new environment. Don't get offended if you don't hear from him or her often. Keeping that friend is more important than getting upset with him or her and risking losing that friendship.

Send weekly or daily encouragement Depending on the type of person your friend is, he or she may be annoyed with daily messages from you. Nevertheless, it does help when the person can see that you are thinking about him or her. Additionally, your friend is trying to adjust to a new environment and this can lead to stress and depression. Seeing a message from you to encourage them can make their day brighter.

Make plans to visit Depending on how far your friend is this may not be possible. However, I believe that it is important for friends to spend time together away from Skype and FB to strengthen their friendship. Link up and do the things you enjoy doing together. It will be money well spent.

I have come to realise that life is too short to allow things to affect your friendships. Your friends are the most important people in your life (after your family). Never underestimate their value and always keep the friendship alive.