ST. LOUIS — Two hundred and forty-three miles is how far I have to drive to see my boyfriend. He lives in Indianapolis. For the past two years, we’ve lived in different states.

Every other weekend we drive to each other. It takes about three and a half hours each way.

To make matters worse, he works the night-shift at WISH-TV. That means he works from 2:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. I work an almost opposite schedule of 2 a.m. to 11 a.m.

It takes a lot of effort, but we make it work. I call him during my lunch break, which is around 8 a.m. and then we FaceTime when I’m done for the day. FaceTime really helps us feel like we’re together because we get to see one another’s faces.

Maximizing our time together is very important. We love exploring. Whether it’s hiking at Castlewood State Park or seeing a show at the Fox, we like trying new things. Those adventures bring us closer.

We also cook a lot when we’re together. Preparing meals on the weekends makes us feel like we live together. It also means we don’t have to worry about food for the rest of the week.

A simple note goes a long way. Before we leave, we write each other hand written notes. He also texts me when he first wakes up just to let me know he’s thinking of me. Things like that go a long way and help keep the lines of communication open.

We spend all of our vacation time together as well. The two trips we've taken were to Greece and Egypt. We both love history so what better places to visit? Experiencing a different culture is fascinating. We're both learning and trying new things but most importantly, we're doing that together. The memories are priceless.