Really long distance anniversary gift?
April 19, 2009 9:33 PM   Subscribe

What is a good, relatively cheap, long-distance anniversary gift to give to someone on the other side of the world? We talk on skype, but I think it'd be nice to actually get her something.

My two-year anniversary of when my girlfriend and I started dating is coming up in a few weeks. Unfortunately, I'm in Florida, and she's in Australia at the moment. Background: We're both in college, she's doing a semester abroad in Townsville. I was actually able to go and visit back in February for about a week, so visiting again as a gift is not really feasible. She'll be back in the States in June, but I won't see her again till August, so I'd like to do something nice. For our 1st anniversary I was the one out of the country, but I had internet access and was able to send her some things through the internet (wrote a long letter, had it sent to her as a message in a bottle). I tried finding local gift shops in Townsville through the internet, but haven't had much luck. She's not much of a flower fan, and I've already gotten her a teddy bear. Actually mailing something from here gets expensive, and I toyed with the idea of making a digital mix tape or photo-collage with music and sending her the link, but she only has sporadic internet. Maybe I'm thinking along the wrong lines, but what kinds of things would I be able to find websites for, local to her area, that I could have shipped to her dorm? Also, I have someone (a mutual friend also studying abroad) that said she'd be willing to help out on the Australian end if I plan something. I've read through the other LDR threads, but most of the suggestions don't seem to apply very well to another continent, as opposed to another state. Thanks.
posted by zinge to Human Relations (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Does Mutual Friend have more reliable internet access than your girlfriend? And maybe a CD burner or something? For cheap and sappy, a mix tape is pretty hard to beat.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:37 PM on April 19, 2009


Friend lives in a neighboring dorm and has the same low-bandwidth limit, sporadic access. Thanks though.
posted by zinge at 9:40 PM on April 19, 2009


Following up to nebula's idea: what if you got a cheap USB key drive and filled it with music and a playlist file? Maybe a collection of pictures as well?
posted by gchucky at 9:55 PM on April 19, 2009


You could make a stop-motion animation using a digital camera and Windows Movie Maker to put the frames together. It's pretty easy and a lot of fun.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:02 PM on April 19, 2009


Does she miss any US foods? You could order her favourites from USA Foods, which is based in Australia and will mail directly to Townsville.

But really, unless you're planning to send her bowling balls, posting a gift from the US to Australia isn't that big a deal. Most online vendors are happy to ship to an Australian address, and for light objects the postage is usually under $10.
posted by embrangled at 12:44 AM on April 20, 2009


Paint her a small painting, on a nice piece of heavy paper -- easy and inexpensive to ship, and it is definitely from you. Paint your heart when you are with her, and when she is leaving, and what it looks like after not seeing her for four months, and craving her love and her loins.

Or a drawing, some flowers that you want to give her -- buy them, draw them, give her the drawing, maybe you could step on it gently using any one of fourteen zillion image editors out there, take an image of a drawing and make it sing your love for her.

Mix tapes? Nice, but it's not really 'from you', it's something someone else has created.

Oh, wait -- you can't draw, you can't paint. Bullshit. Get out a pencil and a sheet of paper and just set to moving. Give it some time, be gentle with yourself, think of her recieving it, knowing how much guts it took you to send the one you love something that you are totally unsure of, an area where you are out of your comfort zone

I've never met anyone yet who does not like a small piece of art that you've created with them in mind. Okay, you just will NOT risk drawing or painting -- fine. Write. Write her a poem, and put some skin into this game, this is real life, this is for the woman you love, this is your heart on paper, your gift for her, to her. Make it sing. Think of her face, her hair, her legs, whatever -- think of her, tell her what you're thinking, and why, and how it moves you, if it does. And if her legs don't move you, break up with her, quit wasting your time and hers, not to mention ours, in answering your questions about a woman who you're stringing along.

But that's not what you're doing, you love her, so get to painting, or drawing, or writing, or build her a nice box if you are good with carpentry, if you are good with your hands. Whatever. But make it from you, to her, take your time, make something nice.

Have fun.
posted by dancestoblue at 1:25 AM on April 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


You can search Etsy by location and find Australian shops to browse, which will cover pretty much any interests or taste. That said, I think the idea of filling a USB stick with photo collages, mixes, a short video, etc would be a really nice gift (plus it sounds like a gift you'd naturally make), and while I'm not an expert on the USPS rates, it looks as if that could qualify as a small packet if you put it in a small bubble mailer - so beyond the cost of the USB stick, you're talking under $10 for postage.
posted by carbide at 4:05 AM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for all the ideas! I looked through Etsy and didn't find anything that popped out at me; checked the food site, but the few things she mentioned she couldn't find aren't listed (I'd send food to her from here, but apparently they have really strict customs on food as an "island" nation). I think I'm going to go with the USB drive idea; I hadn't even though of that. I made a stop motion animation that leads into a photo collage video that I'm making now, and I'm going to do the mixtape-playlist thing on there as well. dancestoblue, I know you don't want to hear it, but I don't draw or paint so well (that's usually her gifts to me). I do play guitar and sing, and she says she likes when I play for her, so I'm going to try and record some songs and put them as part of the mixtape/photo collage (I'm assuming writing a song would count as a poem). I didn't realize it was that cheap to ship things; someone had mentioned around $40 for small packages and I took it as gospel instead of doing any research on it.
posted by zinge at 8:55 PM on April 20, 2009


Final update:

I sent her a flash drive. It had a stop motion animation that went into a photo collage of a bunch of photos of us together on different trips and at school. I also put a folder with a "mix tape" collection of songs, and well as recording myself playing/singing a bunch of songs that I know she liked. She called a couple days ago saying she got it and she loved it. Thanks for the help and suggestions everyone. :-)
posted by zinge at 1:53 PM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


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