Expat Travel Travel Tips

7 ways to make friends abroad

People often ask me if it’s scary to travel by myself, how I dare move to a new country when I don’t know anyone there, and how I make new friends abroad. I don’t find it scary travelling alone, I don’t find it difficult moving to a new country by myself, and I don’t find it that difficult to meet new people and make new friends. The key thing to remember is that it is what you make it, if you want to make new friends, get out there and talk to people. You might not find it totally comfortable to walk up to a stranger on the street and ask them to be your friend, that’s fine, neither do I. So how do I meet new people in new places? Here are some tips on how you can make new friends abroad.

Meet people at work

A lot of people meet at work, and you might end up with some really fun co-workers. A lot of the people I hung out with during my first couple of months in London (and still hang out with) are people I met at work. A lot of young people move to London to experience the London life, and most of those people get jobs in retail, at cafes, restaurants, or bars. It might not be the most glamorous job, but you’ll probably meet some great and fun people.

Use social media

Social media is a fantastic tool. Use it. Find people you thing seem cool and send them a message. Leave a comment on someone’s blog asking to meet up for a coffee, start a conversation on Instagram, or simply send someone an email. A lot of people like meeting new friends, and it never hurts so ask. Try getting in touch with other people who have just moved, she or he is probably in the same situation as you!

Join a Facebook group

Speaking of social media, Facebook is gold. Do some research and see if you can find a Facebook to join, there are tons and tons out there, odds are you’ll find at least one. A lot of nationalities have Facebook groups for people moving to new places, see if there’s an “X in London” group to join.

If you’re not moving to a specific place, but want to meet people when travelling around, join a travellers FB group. Groups such as Girls VS Globe (only for girls – sorry boys), A broken Backpack, and Ultimate travel group, are great resources!

Go to a meet-up

For example, if you’re in London, London New Girl holds meet-ups, see what’s happening at the London New Girl FB Page and join the community group for invites. Alternatively, London Meetup is a good option, and so is getactivelondon.com. There are meet-ups in other cities than London of course, so do some research and see if you can find something fun where you are!

Make the effort

Making friends is a two-way street, you have to give a little. Don’t expect people to make the effort with you, if you’re not willing to do the same. Ask people to go out for drinks, hang out over the weekend, or go for an after work.

Move into a flat share

If you’re moving to a new city, (especially London), odds are you might not be able to rent your own place. But the upside of living with other people is that you automatically get to know new people. If they’re already settled in the city, tag along and get to know their friends. 

Find some new hobbies

Take up a new hobby or continue with an old one. There are groups and classes for pretty much everything, photography, music, dancing, fitness, etc. It’s a great way to meet new people and find like-minded friends.

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