As most of you know, I was raised in the sunshine state – better known as Florida. I was actually born in Michigan but I moved to Florida when I was 3 so I don’t remember anything about it.
I’ve always loved and always will love Florida and honestly, never saw myself leaving and living anywhere different. I always thought I would live there forever. That was the original plan anyway.
Everything changed when I met my husband.
After a couple years of dating he decided he wanted to go to medical school and was accepted to an out-of-state school. When he was interviewing, though, it never even crossed my mind to not go with him – no matter where he would have ended up – which happened to be in Phoenix.
We lived there for the first year of med school and then were relocated to South Carolina for the remaining 3 years. After medical school was over, it was time for residency and yet again move to another state – Michigan.
With each subsequent move, it definitely made me miss my family but I realized that the thing I missed the most was the friends and familiarity that I once had in Florida. I missed just dropping off my daughter at my mom’s for a quick night out with the girls or a date night with the hubby (then boyfriend/fiancé).
I do have to say, however, that moving from home has been one of the best experiences for me. It has forced me out of my comfort zone and I’ve learned a lot about myself along the way. I’ve also made a lot of new friends in all the different places that we’ve lived.
Now, hopefully, that we’ve settled down here in Texas, I can finally make some lifelong friends again.
With all that, I thought it would be a good idea today to share some of the ways I’ve used when moving to a new city and making new friends. Little tips and trick I’ve picked up along the way.
Since you can start to feel alone in a new city, it’s best to put yourself out there and make the most of every opportunity. Hopefully, these little tips will help you start to feel more at home.
Maintain Old Relationships
Honestly, this one can be the hardest and the easiest all at the same time. Trying to schedule time for a phone date can be difficult of you both have different schedules, or live in different time zones.
However, just because you’ve moved somewhere new doesn’t mean you need to forget your old friends. Chatting with old friends about your new city can make you feel more at home and want you to get out more.
Explore Your New City
Find a coffee shop around the corner (or brewery) and sit down to get some work done. Go out to dinner and find new places that can be go-to spots when your old friends come to visit.
Take some time to be a tourist in your city also. Go out and visit all the parks, famous landmarks, and iconic things that make your city unique. Knowing your way around and about things when people ask really helps make it feel more like home.
Make Friends of Friends (or Coworkers)
This was one of the easiest ways for me to make friends when we lived in Phoenix. I made friends with the techs that I worked with and invited them out for dinner/drinks after work to get to know them better.
Also, with the hubby being in medical school you become really close with the people you are spending all your waking hours with. We would frequently go out with them or have them over to the house and I made friends of his friends.
Moving here to Fort Worth, we actually had a couple from Michigan that moved here the year before. They were able to give a little run-down of the area and we take the time to go out with them occasionally.
Take a Class or Attend Events
Find people with similar interests as you by taking up a new hobby or rekindling an old one. Join the gym and take some classes there, do a wine tasting, take a painting or pottery class. Whatever you enjoy doing in your spare time. If you’re a mom, find a mom group to attend with the kiddos and use them as an ice breaker.
Alternatively, you can attend some events that are happening in your area. Almost every city has a Facebook page that you can check out and see all the events happening around the city for the coming months. Attend a networking event, do a pub crawl, volunteer at a non-profit, whatever it is just go.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Getting out of your comfort zone and putting yourself out there is scary! But it’s also the best way to meet and make new friends. I mean, you’ve already moved all the way to the new city… why not enjoy it more with some amazing new friends?
Say yes to those people that asked you to meet then for coffee or ask them if you never got an invitation. Don’t be afraid to make the first move by walking up and introducing yourself. Invite people over for dinner or set up a playdate with the kiddos.
Whatever will get you out of your comfort zone and make the most of your new city and new life, say yes!
Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
Just remember that everything takes time and if you don’t make friends right away, don’t beat yourself up over it and give it. Things like this take time and fostering good relationships take effort, which is totally ok!
Will you meet your best friend on day one? Probably not, but you will eventually. Make the effort to continue meeting new people until you click with someone. Keep a positive attitude and you’ll be on the way to making life-long friends in no time.