Play Week

22 - 24 July 2013. Filed under category Nomad.

Friendships need to be worked on and maintained, especially if you are no longer co-located. For nomads this is a pressing issue (one which I will revisit many times) as we continuously move to new places with few if any friends (to start with) and leaving a growing number of friends behind.

However, this is not a problem exclusive to nomads. Most people have moved once or twice in their lives because of university or work, and in doing so left the friends they had there behind. Often these friendships hibernate as life takes over and you simply forget to work on them.

One way to keep the friendships alive is by organizing Play Weeks. It is a deceptively simple concept. Schedule a number of days (doesn’t have to be a full week, but why not?) where you and that old circle of friends all meet up. You shouldn’t have anything else planned for this time. Dedicating these days to your old friends.

Really make the most out of these days. Start with communal breakfasts, then spend the day doing whatever activities you’ve planned and enjoy. Make dinner together in the evening and then drink and be merry late into the night. And if you can arrange it, have sleepovers so no one needs to stay sober and/or drive home early.

Happy Tree Friends

Happy Tree Friends

What you do isn’t as important as the fact that you do it together. Brainstorm ideas and pick a few that the group think is great. Here is a total random list just to get those ideas flowing.

Play weeks never happen without someone organizing them. People need to take time off work and clear other similar things off their calendars to make room for the play week. For this reason, it can be a good idea to make this a repeating annual or bi-annual event. That way, everyone knows that, for example, week 33 every year is reserved for playing with the old university gang.

My own play week

I grew up with an amazing group of friends back in my home town of Ljungby, and despite our sincere promises to never fall out of touch, we have of course done just that over the last 10-15 years. It happens. But, the old gang have organized play weeks for most of those years, and below are some photos from this year’s extravaganza.


How do you work on distant friendships?

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  1. J. Heider says:

    Still on for a play date on the playa? E-mail or PM me with dates and times that work for you!

  2. DM says:

    Solid advice and you get bonus points for reminding me of Happy Tree Friends. 🙂

  3. Anne says:

    Ok my friends aren’t so distant as yours, but I have never even had my few best mates in the same room as one and other, just has never actually come about.. But unlike most people I have chosen for their first meeting to be at Paintball.. Lol.. Yes it is perhaps not the way most people would choose to introduce their friends. I figure if they have any issues between then from the onset, Ive put a gun in their hand & now its time for them to battle it out.. No harm, no foul 😀

  4. Magnus says:

    This year was the 12th year of play week. Although It begun with a full week and is currently maybe 3-4 days, as families, distance while moving futher away from each other and job vacations have gotten less important I must say that I am extremely happy with that every year we have been at least 70% of all invited from the old gang.

    If I would add something it would be to create arenas, the play week is just one of the arenas we have with the old gang, other things we have is the Oktober batalj where we play board games, bjorkulle-days (on the 25-26th dec), a forum called Björnkullen where we all communicate (soon 10.000 posts 🙂 ) as well as other things we have.

    The point being, to keep the ones you treasure even when challenged by nomadism, work or other things, create arenas with decided dates or structures. And.. go that extra mile. It’s seldom without effort or sacrifices but it’s always worth it!

    And Gustav, we always love when you can join!

How do you work on distant friendships?

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