In 2011, mum came to Europe for the first time to visit me. I got to show her around the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, showed her around Brighton and saw some theatre with her in London. She then went off on a cruise through central Europe and I met her in Paris. In 2012 we spent two weeks together in Japan, meeting halfway between Sydney and London. In February and March of 2013 I stayed at home with her and it was really lovely, and I did the same again at the start of 2014 with my boyfriend, straight after she had an extended stay (five months!) in the UK. She's contemplating coming to see us in Thailand We would never have done those things together had I stayed in Sydney.
We spend a lot of time talking
We Skype about 2-3 times a week and spend a long time talking. When I was at home, we may not have been able to spend as much face-to-face talk time. We hung out a lot, sure, but actual conversation was probably less than it currently is. I'm so grateful there is a free way to talk to her via video. When my older brothers lived in London in the mid-90s, we'd hear from them once every few months, maximum. This is truly the best time to be alive.
We get to be creative
When you can't be with someone, you come up with great ways to show you care. Like, for Christmas last year, mum sent me an incredible bed-throw that she'd made with a whole lot of different fabrics (she and I used to make costumes together, so I recognised the different fabrics from different costumes - very special). And today was Mother's Day, so last night I made her this little video of a day out in Paris (I'm pretty chuffed with my mad video editing skillz).