When I first started telling people that I was moving to London, everyone seemed so worried for me – how would I find a place to live? What about a job in the midst of the world economy crashing down? How would I cope with the weather?
If I’m completely honest, absolutely none of this stressed me out. I knew that it would all turn out the way it should, that I would eventually find a home, a job, a sturdy umbrella, and life would go on. The one thing that actually stressed me out about moving to London was meet people and making new friends! Like many of you I’m sure, I’m a sociable person by nature so the idea of moving to a foreign place where I knew nobody was so daunting because I was scared that life would be lonely, boring and uneventful.
Luckily I’ve been able to meet some amazing people during my time in London so far, which is why (and by popular demand) I’m setting up a London New Girl Meetup, to give everyone else an opportunity to do the same!
With all this in mind, here’s a list of the top 10 ways to make friends abroad:
- Come along a London New Girl meet up! Like the London New Girl Facebook page and join the Community Group to receive an invite to the next meet up. The first one is on this Friday 19th September at 7pm in central London, so if you’re keen to come along then get in touch via Facebook and I’ll send you the details
- Start playing a group sport or join a running or cycling club
- Move into a share house and choose wisely – these people are likely to be your first friends in your new city so make sure you choose a fun and sociable house to move into, with people who enjoy spending time together and hanging out
- Make the effort to attend your Friday night drinks after work with colleagues
- Find some new hobbies. Photography, drawing, fitness, dancing, music, poetry, cooking, hula hooping, learning a new language, whatever it may be. There are groups and classes for literally everything in London and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people
- Sign up to a free website such as Internations to meet other expats in London or attend one of their regular events
- Make the effort. Any time someone invites you out, no matter how bad you’re feeling or how much you don’t want to leave the comfort of your pyjamas and couch, just GO! Even if you don’t necessarily click with anyone, at least you’re putting yourself out there
- Go on an organised holiday with a company like Topdeck, Contiki or Busabout. A lot of those who go on tours are also living in London or plan on moving there, so it’s an easy way to make new friends and bond over a shared experience
- Network. Don’t be shy to approach people you think you can click with. Know of a friend of a friend who moved to London? Ask your mutual friend to put you in touch. If you have a mutual friend in the first place then you already have something in common
- Lastly, join the London New Girl Facebook Community group. It’s set up to connect like minded people who have moved (or are planning to move) to London and want to meet and network with others who are in the same boat
Making friends is a lot like dating. It’s important to find people who you can relate to, who understand you and who you enjoy spending time with. It’s not always easy to meet new people, you really have to learn to put yourself out there and make it happen.
As the dating rules go, try not to come on too strong too soon, make the effort to put yourself out there and most importantly, be yourself!