Has anyone ever tried to make friends while living abroad? It’s hard, man! Think back on when you were in kindergarten and how easy it was to make friends. For many people, the ease of friendship continued on well through college and into their young adulthoods. The process of making friends may stop becoming so effortless once you relocate, though. Changing cities can bring forth a bundle of emotions. Add passports, visas and different languages to the mix and it can feel downright isolating.
I was fortunate enough to form some solid friendships when I lived in Korea, though many of them left halfway through my first year. It was tragic. I cried a lot. I’d never really gone a period in my life where I didn’t have friends. I used to be the girl that was always out and about, but suddenly I was in unchartered territory and it. was. awful.
As a result, I was bit reclusive in my second year in Korea. While this was mainly because I taught private lessons 5 days a week (including Saturday mornings) it was also because I just couldn’t be bothered to make new friends all over again. Now that I’ve relocated (AGAIN) to New Zealand, I’ve decided to put myself out there a bit more and make the extra effort. I’ll admit: sometimes I’m too lazy to follow through with my own suggestions.
Take a class
One of my friends that I met in Korea who’s also living in Auckland invited me to take swing dancing classes with her. Despite the fact I’m not terribly keen on coordinated dance, I loved it! I decided to sign up and enjoyed the classes I attended. To be honest, though, I sort of suck and only went to a few classes due to other engagements. I also didn’t speak to many others aside from Rachael because I was a bit too shy. The fact of the matter is that I put myself out there and tried something completely out of my realm. You can, too!
While I loved the idea of dancing, it wasn’t really my jam. I’ll be enrolling in a Spanish course next term, which is something I know I’ll be more diligent as I’ve wanted a refresher course for years. Although I can’t be too sure yet, I’m hoping there will be potential new friends enrolled as well so I can have a language practice buddy in New Zealand.
If language or dance isn’t your type of thing, there are plenty of options! Check out your local community center or Facebook groups for art classes, book clubs, anime gatherings – whatever suits your personality. The options are endless. Do what makes you happy and you’ll be sure to find others who share that same passion.
This is a pretty effective way to make friends while living abroad. Not only do Meetup groups exist across the world, it’s super useful as you can choose events based on super niche interests. For example, James and I both love reading, so we joined a book club that meets once a month. I love hiking and comedy, so I joined a hiking group that frequents stand-up comedy shows and other fun events several times a month. James loves movies so he joined a movie lover group. It’s pretty awesome and a great way to meet people who you have more of a chance of hitting it off.
Download the Huggle app
I was complaining to my best friend recently about how difficult it is to make friends while living abroad. Have you ever thought about Tinder for friends? Huggle is sort of like that – but better. Huggle connects you with people who share your interests in a super unique way. The app uses location data to keep track of others using the app who frequent the same spots you do. No matter if you’re a gym rat, book worm or bar fly, the Huggle app will be of service to help you make friends while living abroad.
One of the more unique concepts is that Huggle will not connect you with people who don’t share similar locations. You pretty much just have to live your life as you normally would and let Huggle do all the work. Though I was a bit hesitant at first, I was really pleased to find the amount of security that goes into Huggle’s settings. As soon as I logged in, I was prompted to pose for a photo mirroring an image provided. It took about one minute for the photo to be verified and I was set to use it from there! I really think more apps like this should take online safety to this level.
The high security features and the fact that it connects you with people who frequent the same haunts as you makes it highly unlikely you’ll receive any unsolicited photos (#TeamNoDickPics.) If you’re keen to connect with others who share the same interests and hobbies, download the Huggle app today! You can find it in various app stores on the Huggle website. What are you waiting for?
Have you discovered any cool apps recently? Let me know in the comments below! While this is a sponsored post, all opinions expressed are my own.