Because no distance should ever be too much to show you care.
Despite all the beautiful and wonderful things that come with living abroad, having to abandon the legendary fools you have come to love and treasure as your dearest friends is definitely one of the downsides of embarking upon a new life overseas. They have been with you for the highs, the lows, and the darn right embarrasing for all your homegrown days of existence and never a day goes by where you do not feel grateful for their obnixiously brilliant presence in your life. Yet, at the same time, you would rather not tell that to them on a daily basis, instead choosing to demonstrate your love through merciless bullying and top-notch banter.
However, there is the odd occasion where we do deem it socially acceptable to maybe hint to our darling companions that we do actually (despite all appearances) love them dearly, yet doing so just seems to be a little bit harder when you're not in the same glorious terrain as them. Due to cost of shipping, and just generally missing out on the three dimensional awesomeness that is their physical being, sometimes it just feels impossible to make that caring gesture you want to from overseas. Yet, as there always is with any situation that appears as bleak as a philosophy student's future, there is always a way. Here are just some of the gift ideas that I have found that are cost-effective, heart-felt, and just perfect ways to let your friends know that, to you, they're more than just okay; they're actually pretty damn great.
Although flowers are often synonymous with being a cheesy and generic present for a romantic interest, these darling buds in bloom are actually a perfect way to ensure that your friendship with your darling bud remains forever in bloom. With so many stunning arrays to choose from, each done so spectacularly that each bouquet actually manages to have its own personality, it is easy to find one that perfectly captures the unique blend of oddities that is your dearest chum. What is also cracking about ordering flowers is that it is very easy to do, as you simply need to find a florist online that is in the same country as the friend you want to send it too, and it is incredibly quick, with most companies promising to do next day delivery - a top-notch solution to all those last minute forgotten birthday panics! Starting from around €20, this is an affordable away to help your friendship keep growing into the sunflower of happiness it deserves to be.
By this, I do not mean pop into your local bakery and send off some gorgeously divine baked goods through the post; that is an idea that could only end in disaster. However, in the magical world of the online web, some baking masters have had an oven-bulb shining moment of inspiration and developed websites in which you can design and send off personalised cakes with next-day delivery. My personal favourite site, sadly only suitable for U.K based people, isRachels Kitchen as they are very reliable, cook excellent cakes that taste something inspired by the heavens, and that are also a treat on the eye as well. For six cakes, that can be emblazoned with any of your most obscure private jokes or what have you, they charge around €25, which is a fair price considering the quality of their work. With the option of adding a handcrafted note as well, you can be sure that your cherished companion knows that you're the one making their sweet dreams come true with all this sugary goodness. Plus this will certainly keep them sweet enough not to mind too much the for the inevitable fact you're going to need them to get you out of an awkward situation no doubt very soon...
Clothes: they're mandatory to wear in public so there is never any harm gifting them as everyone needs some anyway! Other than being useful tools for avoiding indecency, clothes are the ultimate form of expression, and knowing the kinda of quirky style essential to the individual nature of your bad-ass babe or bro can only aid you in finding the perfect items to complete their wardrobe that they wouldn't be able to find in their crummy old country. Things like scarves and shirts are incredibly light and easy to post abroad, due to the fact that they are not fragile and do not cost a lot to be posted. You also have greater control over how much you spend as you can decide the kinds of shops according to your price range, as well as the super-fabulous fashion sense of your charming chum. Just be sure to use your foreign-livingness to your advance by checking out the chains and boutiques they would have no access to back home.
To paraphrase the sage philosopher Beyoncé, the best way to demonstrate that you actually quite like something is to put a ring on it, so that is what you probably should do to declare your undying love for your finest friends. Jewelry can be incredibly light, and easy to send off into distant lands via our beloved postal services, and as long as you are sure to wrap them up carefully in tissue paper or bubble wrap, do not have face an issue of being damaged. If you are looking to send something from the beautiful Spanish capital of Madrid, might I suggest having a quick peek at the stunning jewelry shop Dime Que Me Quieres. Not only is every piece in their collection a work of art, but they also have great sales, so you can find the perfect accesory, to go with your (only sligthly less than) perfect pal, at the perfect price.
5. A Thin Book.
Whilst attempting to send something like Tolstoy's "War and Peace" abroad would cost you a small fortune (as well as the intended reader's will to live at the sheer size), thinner books are surprisingly cheap to send abroad. Whilst it is always great to receive a good read, sometimes it is even better to receive something a bit more light-hearted and fun that really sums up for friendship. It is worth browsing around charity shops as you can occasionally find some absolute classics that any friend with a sense of humour would love, but I would also recommend the satirical and hilarious new publications from Ladybird Books For Grown-Ups, particularly for the "hipster" in denial in your life. They're highly entertaining and a great way to remind your dear comrade that no distance can ever stop you poking fun at their glorious entertaining quirks and flaws - and that's what friendship is truly about.
Whether of your good old days together or some nice snaps of your most recent endeavours and travels, there is always something quite nice about receiving photos from people, so that you can remember that 1) your missing friend does in fact still have a face, and 2) that they are always thinking of you wherever they are. Plus, it will definitely help to sure they don't forget you anytime soon (it would be quite hard to with your ugly mug peering down at them every day). It is up to you whether you want to use the photos to create a quirky collage or attach some string and bullfrog clips so they can make a snazzy little washing line like above. There are many websites, such as Snapfish, that offer multiple printings for really great value pricing worldwide, so it is worth getting them printed and sent to you through there before adding your own magic twist to them and sending off to your top bro and beloved pal. Snapfish even make some rather fancy photo-related gifts that you can send straight to your friend, so it is definitely worth checking out their site.
7. A Good Old-Fashioned Letter.
As the distance between you and our bestest buds entails that most of your interactions will be done through a screen, it is actually sometimes rather nice to receive something that is authetically part of themselves. Whether you love or loathe your handwriting, it is something that is truly unique to you and, according to some, reveals a lot about your character. Although letter-writing is a lost art-form, there is still something so genuinely lovely about receiving a handwritten letter from someone you care about, just to remind you of how spiffing they truly think you are.
Naturally, these are only small gestures in comparison to the gift that their presence truly is in your life, but at least you know that now, despite the distance, you can always be sure to let them know how close they always will be to your heart.