A few years ago my aunt and uncle told the family that my aunt had accepted a fantastic job offer: better pay, better benefits, a better position. So many better things came with this new job. The downside? They had to move seven hours away from their family and friends to Michigan. As happy as we were for my aunt, this was a tough pill to swallow. I couldn't imagine my aunt, uncle, and cousins going from twenty-minutes away, to a whole new state.
Now that they've lived in Michigan for a few years, I can honestly say that having long-distance relatives is a blessing in disguise. Why?
1. You make more of an effort to see each other.
Yes, of course I saw my aunt, uncle, and cousins when they lived locally, but now that they live so far, when they come home we make the time together more special. We plan to go out places together and to have them over, and to see them as much as we can during their visit.
My aunt and uncle also always try to come home for special events- and that includes driving home every year to see me in my high school musicals, and then senior year to see me graduate!
Having them be so far just shows how much we all took for granted living so close. The time with my family now is so special and we all look forward to seeing them when they come home!
2. You have a place to visit.
My favorite trip of every year is when my family and I drive out to Michigan for Easter to visit my family. Fourteen of us all stay in my aunt and uncle's house together for four days and its truly a blast. Going out to eat, sightseeing, staying up till 3 AM playing games. It's one of the best trips ever. And guess what, if they hadn't moved to Michigan we wouldn't be able to have this awesome family weekend every year. (oh and did I mention that everyone brings their dogs too, just to make it that much more fun!)
(this picture is only about half of us!)
3. You have an excuse to see other states.
If it weren't for my aunt and uncle moving to Michigan, I don't think that anyone in my family would have a reason to ever go to that state. Nothing against Michigan, but before they moved, that state never even crossed my mind to visit. Now that they live there, it's exciting to get to tour the local colleges, and find out what the state has to offer!
4. You have another sports team to route for.
My family has become GIANT MSU fans (Michigan State University-NOT to be confused with Michigan University), now that my aunt and uncle live in Michigan. Every year for Christmas, everyone gets some MSU gear, and the MSU gear is given to significant others when they are being fully accepted into the family (it's really like a token of honor). Before they moved there we never watched MSU play, and now that's all we have on TV!
Go Green! Go White!
5. You appreciate your family more.
The saying is 'you don't know what you have until it's gone'. Now my aunt and uncle aren't 'gone', but they don't live in New York anymore, and it can be hard not having them close. As much as we see them, we still miss them like crazy! Having my aunt, uncle, and cousins move to another state has really opened my eyes to how much I love and appreciate them, and it has taught me not to take them or time with them for granted.
(this picture is from when my aunt and uncle took me to Italy! Did I mention they were awesome?)