“People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.”
When I moved, I left the absolute best friends in the world stateside. My friends are strong, generous, hilarious, beautiful, and whip smart. I couldn’t be luckier to have them in my life. And staying in touch daily, weekly, or periodically means the world to me (literally).
That’s why trying to build new friendships is one of the hardest parts of making a long-term international move. Before arriving, I knew two people in Sydney. So it was critical to me that I find ways to grow long-lasting genuine friendships. So far, these are the best methods I’ve discovered to meet new friends:
- try a workout Friends of Friends: the classic. Tried and true. Meeting friends through other friends is the closest you’ll get to a sure thing. When you announce that you’re moving internationally, it’s amazing how many people in your circle know people in your new hometown. Take everyone up on every introduction!
- MeetUp: the millennial way. Before you start working and after you leave school, the best way to make lasting friendships is to use common interest. On MeetUp, you can find a group meeting for any and all interests. For example, I found both a niche discussion group and a social brunch group! No matter what you like to do with your spare time, you can find people who like to do the same.
- Join a Team: the active way. Being a part of a team means that you’re surrounding yourself with people who share a common interest, common goal, common mentality. Even if a team commitment is too ambitious, you can try a workout or interest club that has a regular timetable; the people you see regularly will become familiar faces and personalities, which can lead to a friendship if you feel it fits. And especially in a country like Australia, going out after a match, set, meet, etc. is practically expected.
- Start At Home: the immediate way. When you arrive in a new city, you could choose to live at a hostel or Airbnb temporarily. This way, you have as many or as few roommates or housemates as you feel comfortable with. Those roommates can become your best tool to crack into the social scene of a new city. If they’re keen, they will introduce you to friends or go out on the town with you to meet people together. And if they’re also new to the city or are travelers, they will make the best connections for future adventures.
- Dating: the shameless way. From apps like Bumble and Hinge to events like Sydney Soiree, the awesome power of meeting dates is at your fingertips. Granted, an event like Sydney Soiree requires that you have a few mates already. But if you need some one-on-one time, go out with potential suitors and see the city, eat the food, drink the drinks (coffee? wine? beer? espresso martinis?) and fill your time with light-hearted conversation. If it works out, you could be on your way to regular socialising and building that critical support system 💓
But No matter what, the most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one with yourself. Date yourself, treat yourself, and listen to your own wants and needs. Oh, and then work on convincing your friends from home to join you for an international adventure!