For starters, don't move completely across the country. That doesn't work for you? You're independent and adventurous, and even a touch masochistic?
My next piece of advice is one I really should not give. They say you ought to practice what you preach, and I never follow my own advice: PICK UP THE DAMN PHONE. Now, in my defense, the time zones are NOT my friends. Nor is my job my friend. It's turning out that I spend a lot more time with enemies. I'm definitely keeping them closer.
So the new resolution (isn't it sad that I have to make rules in order to have friends?) is that I will contact a friend every week. One friend per week. Bonus points for getting in touch with one friend multiple times a week, or multiple friends in one week. Haven't heard from me in awhile? Don't be surprised to see my name in your callerID. But you know what?
The phone works both ways.