Moving is more than just packing your stuff and relocating it somewhere else. It’s starting your life from scratch in a whole new place. After you’ve moved in, unpacked and rested, you may find yourself thinking about where to start with what comes next. One of the things you should consider a priority is getting to know the area and meeting the people in it. Figuring out exactly how to meet people after moving to a new place may be harder than expected. Especially if you are an introvert, but it is definitely worth the effort.
Start with the people you already know
Do you have a friend or family member already in the area? Talk to them about your move – they might have some good tips to share! That way you can learn about the area and have someone familiar to connect with right from the start. Try inviting them over to your place or go out with them to one of their favorite local haunts. Also, ask them to bring their friends – this will help you spread your social network!
Not sure if you know someone in the area? This might be a good time to reconnect with old friends and rekindle those relationships. Use social networks to find the people you’ve lost contact with. You can see where they are now – you might just get lucky!
Colleagues or friends?
If you have found a job (if you haven’t, you should get on that), you’ve already met people. You may not be able to choose your colleagues. But you are sure to find at least one or two among them that you can get along well with. The question then becomes not so much how to meet people as to how to find the right ones. Talk to the people working near you when there’s a lull, have lunch at the cafeteria and go to any team building events your company may organize – these are surefire ways to get to know the people you work with. Of course, a beer or two after work can also go a long way to making friends!
Get to know the area
When you move somewhere, it’s not just you who is new to the area – the area is also new to you. Take the time out of your day to get to know it better by walking down random streets and discovering the local convenience stores, community centers or gathering places. They might give you ideas on how to meet people. Odds are you will run into some locals you can strike up a conversation with too!
Parks: a great place for dogs and people alike
Having a dog may just be the perfect solution for meeting new people. Your dog will need walking at least twice a day so you are sure to be out and about at least as often. Find out if there’s a park in your area that you can visit – your dog can make new friends and so can you!
Even if you don’t have a dog, a park can be a good way to meet someone. Share a bench with a stranger, ask to borrow someone’s newspaper or play with a dog. You never know who you might run into!
Local hangout spots
Are you more of a coffee or tea person? Find out at your local coffee shop! And don’t take your drink of choice to go – sit down, take a break, read a book or do some people watching. Most importantly, talk to someone whether it’s your barista, the person in front of you in line or the person sitting next to the only unoccupied chair outside. You may feel a bit silly at first, but you’ll find it gets easier with time.
Everything is easier with alcohol so if you can hold your liquor, don’t be afraid to show it off at a local bar or club either! You are unlikely to be the only one there alone so start by approaching others like you – they are the ones most likely to be looking for company. Larger groups may seem harder to infiltrate, but they are a sign of friendly people so don’t give up on them either. Or just order your favorite drink and sit at the bar – someone else might approach you! Be careful however not to go overboard. Drinking alone in an unfamiliar place can be dangerous and not just because you may forget your way home. Pace yourself and never leave your drink unattended!
While you’re there, ask the employees if the place has organized mixers. Social events like speed dating or theme nights are a good time to put yourself out there.
Get fit, get educated, get involved
Moving is physically exhausting so nobody blames you for skipping the gym a couple of times while settling in. Once you’ve slept off the stress headaches though, it’s time to get back with the program. Join the local gym and sign up for any group classes that seem fun. You can bond with others equally well in celebration of reached goals and commiseration of exhaustion.
If you are not big on physical activity, look into local museums, cinemas, libraries, book clubs, night classes or language courses. These are great ways to kill some time, find places that cater to your interests and meet people like you. You may even be interested in joining an activist group or political party. What a great idea on how to meet people who share your passions while changing the world for the better!
Staying in: how to meet people in your own home
One of the easiest ways to meet new people doesn’t even involve leaving your house: throw a house-warming party! Hide any unpacked boxes, tidy up a bit, get some snacks and drinks (or show off your cooking skills by making some appetizers) and you’re good to go. You can post an open invite on the building bulletin board if you can find one or put invitations in your neighbors’ mailboxes (and to be a good hose and invite all your neighbors – yes, even the grumpy old lady from upstairs). Weather permitting, you can even throw a barbecue for the neighborhood outside! As an added bonus to making local connections (useful if you ever need someone to house-sit, dog-sit or just check you turned off the stove), you are also likely to get some handy knick-knacks as welcome gifts.
Ultimately the question is not just how to meet people, it is how to make friends. The connections you make are just the starting point. Invest your time and effort into them so they turn into real relationships!