In 1993 I worked as a merchant mariner on ship anchored in the lagoon of Diego Garcia, which is a small island in the Indian Ocean that serves as a staging ground for the U.S. military. Back then, I paid $100 once a week to talk to my fiance for 30 minutes. I waited for her letters like they were gold. 17 years and two kids later, it was enough to help get us through! But it was tough. Nowadays, people in the same situation can email regularly, talk on the phone via the web and even "skype" each other to see the ones they love. Keeping a long-distance relationship is certainly easier now.