Confession time: I hate moving. Even to the suburb next door. The hard work of packing all worldly possessions into cardboard boxes is bad enough (where would we be without removalists). But am I alone in finding the idea of relocating to another city quietly terrifying?
Your social network is in many regards, your life; it defines and sustains you through the good times and the bad. I’ve always admired those brave souls who pack up their whole lives and move cities (countries!) for work, love, or career. How do they do it?
How do they leave behind family & the most important people in their lives to find new mates, friends, acquaintances, pals, buddies and build a social network from scratch?
To better understand (and to conquer my own irrational fear) I straw polled a few of these hardy, social pioneers. I discovered it’s not as hard as it looks, and that technology’s making it easier all the time. So for those who share my ‘relocation angst’, I’ve collated the best 6 ways to make friends after moving to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Darwin or even Canberra!
1. Join a local sporting club.
You don’t have to be a sporting superstar. You don’t even have to particularly enjoy getting physical. But joining a club will very quickly introduce you to a dazzling array of new people who live in the area. Best of all, your shared experiences of the soccer/netball/rugby games will see you genuinely bonding in no time.
I have a female friend who used this strategy to great effect. New to Sydney and keen to ‘meet a bloke’, she joined a club dedicated to extreme sports. Guess what? Nearly all the members were men, and pretty soon she was happily married with kids. Very clever girl.
TIP: this approach can apply equally well to light sports or interest groups such as Bridge Clubs or Bird Watching groups. Just join a club and get out there!
2. Get a job.
Office drinks gone wrong
Yes, work remains one of the easiest ways to meet new people. It’s a lot harder to make new friends if your spend your days lying on a couch eating Twisties and watching day time televsion.
TIP: Be nice at work, and join in the end of week drinks but try not to sleep with too many colleagues too quickly – it tends to ruin the vibe!
3. Use social media to meet the locals.
Everything’s online these days, and that includes meeting new people. There’s plenty of talk about apps for romantic hook ups such as Tinder, but what if you just want to meet some local residents or community groups to say hi? Glad you asked, because this is exactly what Housenet does.
When you join Housenet, our system will automatically connect you with people who live in your suburb. So it’s a really easy way to expand your social network when you move to a new area.
TIP: You can also ‘follow’ extra suburbs and connect with people in neighbouring precincts
4. Have children.
It sounds glib, but as a parent I know it’s much easier to meet new people in the area when you have kids. Going to the park, child care, school events – they all get you out of the house and demand that you engage with other locals – which is a great thing!
I wouldn’t go so far as to recommend that you have kids just to meet people. But if you are getting desperate you could…
5. Get a cute dog.
Yes, people love cute dogs!
There are people, then there are DOG people. Most local communities have dog parks and and the ritual of getting the dog off the leash is a great way to make new contacts in the local area. Woof!
6. Become a volunteer.
Shhh. Have you heard volunteering’s ‘dirty little secret’? Many people use volunteering as a convenient way to meet people (scandalous, I know). Sure, it’s great to volunteer and feel good about helping the community, but the side benefits are obvious – you’ll meet lots of like-minded people, not to mention the free tea and cake!