The consequences of moving around consistently can be telling. Like an overworked pasta machine tuned to number 6, they stretch most close friendships. No matter how much you may feel you try, there are practical challenges to maintaining long-distance friendships. Instead of aiding communication, technology often works in a competing way. How many times do you spend hours in the black hole of Instagram instead of calling up someone?

Sustenance of Close Friendships Friends Don't Drop From the Skies

Sustenance of Close Friendships: Where did your friends drop from?

I particularly liked measuring movement in terms of what zoologists call the life-time track.

“Life-time track” is a term zoologists use to describe the entire sum of an animal’s movements from birth to death”

I did notes on my family. Over time, we’ve definitely taken our mobility seriously. My parent’s movement was forced, but mine was by choice. Sometimes I violently question the choice. I wonder what it would be if I were still in the Nadur or nearabouts. Would I still be friends with the girls from Mallinson?

Once in McKinsey where we took all trends seriously, we had an adult friendship matrix.

  • It takes 1.5 years of physical time spent together before you can become friends
  • Travel together makes the process quicker
  • You may not enjoy working with your friends, even if you met them at work. That’s okay.
  • Friends can be found at work
  • Friendship requires intentional work
  • It’s easier when you hate the same things


“Friendships don’t just happen,” says William Rawlins, a professor of interpersonal communication at Ohio University. “They don’t drop from the sky.” (via)

Although, admittedly it’s so nice to imagine things will fall from the sky every once in while. Like Alice finding her world, deep in the rabbit hole. Sometimes, I crave for things to be easy.

Let the sky fall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together
At skyfall

(Adele, obviously obsessed)


Extended Notes on life-time track for my family


P. Great-grandfather and great-grandmother | Srinagar- Kashmir state/Jammu: 300 Km

M. Great-grandfather and great-grandmother | Srinagar- Kashmir state/ Jammu: 300 Km

So both sets traveled and lived within this 170 mile radius.


It’s easy to recount this for family members. My grandfather usually moved between Kashmir and Jammu for work and a winter time change in the capitals. He grew up almost entirely in Kashmir, and had a small Lahore detour for studies in pre-independence time common India. Naturally, the British colonial atrocities stemmed the possibilities for exploration, but let me do the math. 

P. Grandfather |  Srinagar- Lahore: 284 Kms | Srinagar- Jammu: 260 Kms

P. Grandmother|  Gilgit-Srinagar: 209 Kms | Srinagar-Jammu: 260 Kms | Jammu- Delhi: 595 Kms

So basically, my grandfather lived all his life in a 300Kms / 186 mile radius. My grandmother is living in Delhi post our forced exodus from the valley, and has covered a little more to reach a 550 mile radius.

M. Grandfather|  Srinagar-Lahore: 284Kms | Srinagar- Delhi: 895 Kms | Srinagar-Jammu: 260 Kms

M. Grandmother| Srinagar-Jammu: 260 Kms

So my grandmother lived in a 170 mile radius while my grandfather covered a 550 mile radius.


Father | Srinagar- Jammu: 260 Kms | Srinagar- Patna: 1887 Kms | Srinagar-Uttrakhand: 984 Kms | Srinagar- Delhi: 595 Kms

Mother | Srinagar-Jammu: 260 Kms | Jammu – Delhi: 595 Kms

Because of his studies, my father’s radius covers over a 1000 miles, while my mother has a 550 mile radius


Me | Srinagar- Michigan: ~7000 miles or 11,000 Kms (I’ve been elsewhere, but this is the farthest)

Husband | Nasik- Michigan: ~7800 miles or 12000 Kms

My sister | Srinagar-Montreal: ~7000 miles or 11,000 Kms

Upasna Kakroo

Upasna is a published author and has been blogging since 2003. She solves marketing challenges by the day and sketches every night. Her children's books, illustrations and other creative products are available on this site for browsing & purchases. She currently lives in Plymouth, Michigan, in the United states.