October 12, 2012 - submitted by Darryl, Canada

I have a friend that is living a big distance away from me and she is lonely. She just moved to a new city and the friends that she does have their are all busy with Uni. I would like to do something like a treasure hunt or something that will hopefully help to make her feel a little bit less lonely but I am rather rubbish at thinking these kind of things up and was hoping that you might have some advice.
Thanks heaps.

The Oracle replies:

It's hard for many to find their feet in a new place; it can be a daunting experience so this is a lovely thing you're wanting to do to help her.
It might be quite nice to make her a personalized Pinterest board or tumblr page not only with fun things to do in her new area but old photos and videos of familiar things from home.
You could make her a virtual tourist book with the kind of places you think she'd like. You can use the web to find them and sites like Trip Advisor for traveller tips. I for one love being a tourist in the city I live as it's easier to forget to explore the place you live.
Maybe you could find interesting facts about the place like famous films that were shot there and point out locations.
Find music relating to it - you could compile a playlist. Sticking with audio, you could record your voice taking her on a walking tour of the city marking out places to eat, drink, shop and relax - your voice might soothe her or make her laugh depending on what content you go for. Or record you & your friends telling her funny stories and jokes.
If you don't have time to have free Skype chats, you could record tiny voice memos or short video clips & send them. Some apps could help with that. Depending on your phone, there are also apps that let you message and or chat for free too so none of this has to cost you both anything.
How about making a small effegy of yourself so she can put it in her pocket and tell her that when she's missing you or feeling lonely, she knows your right there with her.
With your support as a friend, she will no doubt settle soon enough.
Over to you.

Honestly, I think something like a treasure hunt would be a marvelous idea, but remember the one thing that will really help with her loneliness is your company. As long as you two are spending time together, she should be feeling better.
One thing I like to do with my friends who I don't get to see regularly is take everything that we did when we did get to spend time together, and do them all at once. A "nostalgia trip" of sorts. It's the many things we did together when we were younger that gave us the memories we cherish, and it's nice to relive them.
Bradley H.

If you haven't tried Skype, look into it! It lets you video chat and keep in touch with your friends from all over. Since she just moved, the new environment and the people in her life will take some getting used to, but I'm sure she will come to enjoy her new home. In the meantime, keep things simple. You can send her photos, mixtapes, and letters in the mail so she has something to look forward to every week! Warm regards, Blake.

What a nice thing to do for your friend! I think the treasure hunt idea is a really good one, but I would go for something a little simpler, like planning a day of small but fun activities. Maybe go to the movies or throw a nice dinner. Another example would be throwing a sort of game night, with lots of great board games, card games and/or video games. That is something that I would recommend. However, if you really feel like doing a treasure hunt, then go for it! Make a fun map and get some cool stuff for treasures – it could be anything from candy to … well, anything you want! Whatever you choose to do, I sincerely hope it turns out great. Good luck! Medina.

What you plan on doing is a lovely act of kindness towards your friend and I know that she will greatly appreciate it beyond words. I find it wonderful and there should be more people like you who would create something special for someone. Since she's living in a new city, do a little research on the town. Find some of the cool hot spots in the area that may suit her interests. I think a photo scavenger hunt would be cool. Make a list of wacky things, tourist spots, etc. that one would find in a city and take photos of them including yourselves doing weird/witty poses and such. Buy the strangest item you can find in that town for you guys to keep as a token of your memory. A picnic at a park sounds nice. Take a walk around the neighborhood so she can become familiar. Two people getting lost in an unknown city is the way to go. Most importantly, let her know that you are willing to help her or keep her company if you wish to do so. Best of luck and have fun!

It is really great that you care so much about your friend. I believe that the simpler the better so try to spend some time with and it does not matter how you will do it. If you can just visit her and go for a walk or a drink it would be perfect. If you cannot visit her there are other possibilities - phone, skype (dinner via skype sounds strange but can be fun). You can also suggest her to go for extra classes e.g. art, sing, dance - something that she always wanted to try. Maybe she will find new passion and new friends that will share this passion with her. Then they will always have time for her. Magdalena.

When you cut your roots in one place it takes time until they are grown again in a new location.
You are doing a very helpful important job for your friend if you take care of her situation. Giving her the idea of doing particular things, asking her how she is spending her days, being a connection to her hometown is what you can do. She is the one who can actually change her situation. She should try to become acquainted with the new city, go out where her interests are: events, activities, joining any associations etc. Then not to focus too much on the first new contacts, but rather try to socialize in different peripherals, not only colleagues at work e.g. Furthermore she should arrange her flat/room so that she likes it and can feel comfortable there, it shouldn’t look as if she is moving soon out again. I hope her expectations will come true. LQ.

A close friend of mine moved away a couple months ago and she feels lonely too, so I think I quite know how you feel. I try to make her feel less lonely to make use of skype a lot, email her and keep in touch. Sometimes I just let her know how I feel and what I am doing, so she still feels like she is part of my life as she used to be. I think that is the most important thing we can do, just let them know nothing has changed in your friendship. To do something special, you can write her a letter or make a little movie for her, for example. I am working on a movie of our memories with some close friends.
Good luck, Renske.

I'm sorry to hear about your friend moving away! Here are some things that you could do to keep your relationship close:
1.Skype. It's a video chatting app for your computer. Lots of people use it to keep in touch.
2. Send each other gifts and letters. Sometimes those are more special than just a text or email.
3. Call her every now and then.
4. Maybe you can collect up some money for a plane ticket and go visit her.
5. Talk to each other everyday. This will help keep your relationship close.
Good luck with your friend. I hope I helped.
Meghan, USA.

What a nice idea to cheer someone up with! Here is a suggestion - why not do a treasure hunt that leads your friend through a series of clues to each of her friends. Then she takes that friend along to gather the next one and so on until at last they are all there for her.
Remember to make the clues personal and challenging. We did the a couple of years ago with my then fiance, he had a blast.
Also remember to link the clues to each other; they could be tied to past event you all had fun at, or a location or special memory or even the friends. It would also be cool to video the whole deal as it's a lot of fun. Hope that helps and have fun! Laurie.

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