An issue I’ve had as I’ve become more independent during my time abroad (and probably with age) is that enjoying my own company and happily making plans with myself can sometimes mean that I don’t socialise as much as I feel I could. I guess this isn’t the worst problem in the world as I do have a few good friends, but I also strongly value being part of a community too.
I was speaking to a friend who recently moved to Frankfurt and we were saying that by time we’ve finished work, got back from the gym and had something to eat, we just want to chill out. Which would most likely also be the case if we didn’t move abroad, but the foundations of our friendships back home are already formed, meaning if we don’t see our closest friends for a couple of weeks, not much changes. Whereas when building new friendships, initial regular contact is almost essential.
I am aware however, that this could also be a matter of adapting to a different lifestyle. I’ve gone from having weeks of plans blocked out in my calendar whilst living in London to not even knowing what I’m doing at the weekend in Frankfurt. I’m enjoying the relaxed approach as I rarely find myself tied into something that I can no longer be bothered to do. And do I really want to go back to a lifestyle that wears me down? Nope.
But whilst my social life may be quieter here, which has definitely made me a lot more relaxed as a person, there’s still this thing in the back of my mind that tells me to ‘get out more’ and ‘go meet new people.’ It’s a weird social pressure, but what’s most important is to find a healthy balance and socialise because you want to, not because you feel you should.
Ultimately, how we spend our time is up to us, but if you do want to make more of an effort to socialise, I’ve put together a few ideas on how to meet new people when you move abroad.