I have travelled a lot the past 3 years since graduating university. My employer has allowed me to live and work in a variety of locations internationally.
In each place I have had to find and make new friends and after all this time have become quite good at it. I am very selective with people I choose as friends. I only want genuine, kind people who are able to discuss challenging topics with a rational and nuanced perspective. These people are quite rare.
I have grown tired of frequently changing my location and losing my connections – keeping in touch through the internet just isn’t as fulfilling. So I am moving to London soon where I intend to stay for a few years at least.
These are some of the methods I will use to meet some great people:
- Couch Surfing – I have made a lot of my absolute best friends here in the last year. It is a great site filled with travellers that you can meet in your local area. I primarily use this to find people who I might become good friends with. There are usually weekly meetings and other events and most people are not averse to meeting up from a direct message. I have hosted once but not used it to surf while travelling.
- meetup.com – I haven’t used this one much as there aren’t many events in my current city. But it seems to have a lot of cool events, especially in larger cities.
- Dating sites. eg. okcupid.com – Made some really amazing friends through this, doesn’t need to be used just for dating.
- Volunteering. – I plan on combining my passions of education and coaching to do some mentoring with school kids, preferably ones that need it the most. You can meet all sorts of Altruistic, like-minded people through volunteer organisations.
You have to be persistent. You have to be confident enough to single out people who interest you and to engage them in a one to one situation where you can really get to know each other through deep, meaningful and open conversation.
Whether you are moving to a new city or just want to upgrade your current social circles, give it a go!