After University I moved to London, then to LA, then to New Zealand for a bit. Each time I’ve started completely from scratch. Without question, just moving again has been the hardest. I don’t know if it’s the culture shock of country life again or the fact that I’m “getting to old for this”, but fuck if this isn’t the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
If it’s one thing I know about moving to a new city though, is that it SUCKSBIGTIME until you find your people. Your community. I was depressed in Auckland for a whole year because I was relying too much on my partner. I didn’t make new friends or get involved in activities. On the flip side, my time in London was the best two years of my life because I had a pre-set group of friends and I was madly in love with my roommates.
Here, I live alone. I came here with no friends in the area, but in the past month I think I’ve made a decent dent. While I’m by no means part of any community yet (except my rad job), here’s how I’ve attempted to get my shit together in a new place in a short amount of time:
Friends of Friends
Do you have a friend in the new place? or a friend who might know someone? E-introduce! I love meeting friends of friends because it automatically gives us common ground and, since they obviously like a friend, they’re always spectacular themselves. I also lucked out and have my oldest, best friend from childhood live an hour a way. While we may not have hung out for almost a decade, it’s funny how old friends so easily fall back into familiar patterns.
The problem with living abroad was that I would read blogs, fall in love with these people from afar, and never get to go to their meet ups/conferences/events. But now I can finally reach out to blog crushes and buy them a coffee. But it's also been a great way to meet new people too! Just engage in a conversation on a topic, before you know it you're besties!
I’m lucky in that everyone in my office is young and fantastic and fascinating. Since day one my coworkers have invited me to their homes for dinner, taken me to lunch and given me advice about settling in my new city.
When you’re settled in a city you know well, it’s easy to say no to a spontaneous opportunity because you want to get home to your cat. Or do your washing. Or get to bed on time. But when you’re new to a place, saying no means you’ve denied yourself a chance to make friends. So I’ve made it my mission since arriving here to say yes to every invitation that comes my way. Want to play iPhone games at friend of a friend friend’s apartment? Why not? Take a yoga class in a cathedral after work? Don’t mind if I do. Attend walking tour of the city then say yes to the tour guide when he invites you to a pirate-themed bar? Of course.
I’m still getting my sea-legs and even though I’ve been out every single night for the past 14, I still haven’t found my people. And for that, I’m going to cut myself some slack and stay in tonight and watch The Office until my eyes bleed.
Thanks to Natalia for this post!
Do you have any tips for moving?