So, you have found yourself a transplant in a new city and your circle of close friends are no longer just a phone call away, but are now a plane ticket and a long TSA line away. Maybe you are wondering how to clear the cobwebs from that dusty thing you used to call a social life. I had my share of city hopping so for all the other newly transplanted; here are a few things that worked for me.
A good starting place is your neighborhood association. Being involved in an association allows you to integrate yourself with your new surroundings and neighbors. Long time residents will have valuable information about your new surroundings and this is a great way to discover some of your neighborhood’s hidden treasures, and more important things like great pizza, coffee and a great dry cleaners.
When we were growing up our friends came primarily came from school, so why not give school a try now. Try enrolling into a local community college and take a class just out of pure interest and curiosity. I decided to take up a language and by attending classes and study groups you can make another set school friends the same way we did when our favorite subject was the one and only recess.
I got the basics down of my new language from pronunciation to verb conjugations. The only problem was finding someone to practice “conmigo.” That is where a language exchange website became a great tool. I was able to meet people whose native language is Spanish and who are willing to practice with me in exchange for me helping them with their English. I have met some really interesting people and have gotten to show some American culture at the same time as learning another, and once my new friends move back to their country I will have an excuse for another international vacation.
My new foreign friends have shown me just the surface of some of their Latin culture and I wanted more. A great way to get deeper into a culture while meeting new people are dance lessons, and that is when I signed up for Salsa and Tango classes. These dance lessons had something to a triad effect. It provided me the ability to learn something new, still practice my new language and continue to meet new people who were always up for a night out dancing at all the city's hotspots.
For the competition junkies nothing beats joining your city’s sports club. I love competition and physical activity and I was lucky that my city had some throw back social sports. I got back to my recess socializing skills and signed up for both dodge ball and kickball. These two sports were a great way to work off some stress and build bonds with my teammates. And since this was more of a social sports club, before or after drinks and sometimes both were always considered. Playing on those two teams spring-boarded me onto three other teams which meant I got a chance to meet others with common interest.
During my quest of seeking and searching on the different ways to meet new people and trying new things I stumbled upon this little gem called “Meetup”. This is like the Mecca of meeting people with common interest, and I met so many new and wonderful friends through this and once again I am a social butterfly, but this time as a transplant in my new adopted city.