June 6, 2022

6. Always say yes – at least initially

6. Always say yes – at least initially

Bonus point: As well as posting, search the group for similar messages posted in the last few months. They may still be looking to make friends and better yet, might have already met people they can introduce you to!

Extra tip: see if any of the Facebook groups have dedicated Whatsapp groups. I find these better for on-the-day events. Once in Porto, some messages popped up from a few people organising a picnic. I was nearby so went along and made two friends who I still see months later!

2. Language groups (if applicable)

This applies if you’ve moved to a new city where people speak a different first language. Firstly, you’ll want/need to know it but secondly, it’s a great way to meet new people in a new city. Consider:

  • Language classes – formal settings with a teacher.
  • Language meetups – informal social meetups where the focus is improving language skills. Often free.

Both have their benefits! I ended up in a language exchange WhatsApp group in Mexico City with Spanish and English speakers of varying abilities. They held big group meetups but I also arranged a few one-on-one cafe meetups. This might be better if you’re shy about going to a meetup alone.

3. Meetup app

Check out Meetup which is a website, and now a mobile app, based on… you guessed it… meeting people in new cities!

It depends on the location but there are usually groups for different ages, working styles, interests, hobbies etc. I’m in Mexico City groups for digital nomads and remote workers. I see in London they have everything from ‘over 30s’ to ‘young Indian professionals’ and ‘friends for weekend walks’.

If there are no groups that appeal, you can start your own. randki bhm You can search by ‘groups’ or by ‘calendar’ to see upcoming events in your city.

4. Friends of friends

Meeting friends in a new city is like a ball rolling. Once you have people to socialise with, it’s easier to meet more people.

Be proactive and let new friends know you’re looking to form a social group. A friend I made in a Mexico City Facebook group, Cat, added me to her work WhatsApp group with lots of expat English teachers who were also new to the city. They became my closest friends in Mexico City. Had Cat not known I was looking to make new friends, I might have never have!

5. Use your wider connection

Ask your existing friends if they know anyone in the city you’re moving to. Even if your cousin has an ex-colleague who lives there, you might glean some tips or even meet up.

Use your first few weeks wisely. Always being ‘on’ can be exhausting (especially if you’re settling into a new job as well) but you’ll thank yourself. There’s always later for Netflix nights.

I remember walking home after a busy day when a new Whatsapp group buzzed. One of the girls invited people to meet her at a coffee shop. I was feeling tired and not in the mood to meet brand new people. But I pushed myself and was glad I did because it led to many future meetups.

7. Sports and hobbies

You can meet people anywhere but the chances of making like-minded friends in a new city are heightened if you have a shared interest. In life generally, I believe following your passions and interests can only lead you in the right direction.

  • Any sports team
  • Running clubs
  • Yoga/meditation classes
  • A dance class
  • Crafts classes – knitting, ceramics, textiles etc

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