Tools for Service Providers

15 Tips for Saying Goodbye and Staying in Touch

If you're moving to a new duty station soon, you're sure to have mixed feelings. You may be excited about the new opportunities before you, and you may be sad to leave your favorite friends and special places. The following tips will help you make your goodbyes special and stay in touch after you leave.

Ways to say goodbye

  • Visit favorite places. Eat at your favorite restaurant or visit a favorite park.
  • Make a point of spending time with friends before you leave. Although you may feel as though you can't squeeze one more thing into your schedule, it's important to connect in person before you go.
  • Host a going-away party and ask friends to sign an autograph book. This gives your guests an opportunity to share their feelings and creates a special keepsake for you.
  • Give your children an address book or notebook to hold friends' contact information. Knowing they will be able to stay in touch with old friends easily can help make the move feel less stressful.
  • Find out how your children would like to say goodbye to friends. Whether they would like a big party or just hang out with a best friend, work with them to make it happen.
  • Give your friends something to remember you by. Plants you can't take with you or a key chain from your new duty station make good mementoes.
  • Take pictures or make a videotape of your home, friends, neighborhood and school. You can use the photos for a scrapbook or photo album.
  • Make a scrapbook. Ask each family member to find one item that best represents what's most important to them in your community.

Ways to stay in touch

  • Use email and instant messaging to stay connected. Make it a point to email or message friends on a weekly or monthly basis to stay in touch.
  • Make it easy for your children to stay in touch with friends. Set up their friends' email addresses in the computer and make sure they have time to keep up with them.
  • Write letters. This may seem old-fashioned, but everyone loves to get mail!
  • Send electronic cards or photos of your new home and community. Your friends will enjoy seeing where you live and what you're doing.
  • Start a blog. Your family and friends can read about your adventures at your new duty station.
  • Exchange small gifts and tokens. Souvenirs from your new area are sure to bring a smile.
  • Call your friends. Many cell phone plans offer free long distance and don't charge call time on weekends.


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