Meeting New People In A New City: Part 2 – Offline And In Person

This is the follow up post to Part 1: meeting people through online social networks. There are great options for meeting people online, but let’s not forget about the old-fashioned face-to-face concept! After all, don’t you want to be sure your new friends don’t have abhorrent body odor or a screeching laugh that makes you cringe? These are important things to keep in mind people! So let’s get offline and outside to meet people.

Volunteer

This is a great way to do something positive while meeting new people. Obviously friends are more likely to happen the more regularly you volunteer with a particular organization. Working with an organization that you’re passionate about will make it more likely to meet people with those common interests. Finding opportunities online is simple but don’t forget to consider heading to an organization of your choice to inquire in person. Surprise – not everything is on the internet! Just think about what interests you like working at a food bank, homeless shelter, hospital, orphanage,  etc. There's really no limit here.

Volunteering in Ghana

Volunteering in Ghana

Hostels

Staying a few days at a hostel is another great way to meet people easily. Hostels naturally have a community atmosphere about them that promotes getting to know one another. Granted, hostels are usually used by travelers so most people are just passing through and they may not exactly be your target audience for a new friend. However, it is quite common to meet people in hostels who recently moved to the new city and are staying there until they find a permanent residence. How are you going to find that person? Start chitchatting! If you want to be a little more aggressive with the hostel option, you could also consider working at a hostel. They often have arrangements where a person works works part time for them and they in turn receive a free accommodation. It’s a great way to get to know the staff and the other patrons better. It's exactly what I'm doing in Madrid! I'm meeting great people and on top of that, practicing my Spanish.

In Rio de Janeiro with fantastic ladies we met at a hostel in Tokyo

In Rio de Janeiro with fantastic ladies we met at a hostel in Tokyo

Classes

What’s something you’ve always wanted to do, a hobby you’ve always been intrigued by but have never had the time to actually learn it? Well guess what, if you’re friendless in a new city, you’ve got nothing but time! Whether it’s learning to ride a horse, play tennis, play the piano, or learn a second language, it’s a great opportunity to pick up a new hobby and meet others with the same interest. Just because you’ve finished school doesn’t mean you can’t go back to class. Auston and I are currently pursuing leads for free Spanish classes offered in Madrid (we’ll keep you posted if we succeed).

David with his Spanish teacher in Guatemala

David with his Spanish teacher in Guatemala

 

Just get involved!

These are just a few examples of way to meet people. Some of them we’ve tried and others we’ll do for the first time in Madrid. There are endless ways to meet new people whether you’re a transplant to the city, a traveler passing through, or just in need a social life uplift. Just get involved in something! Auston and I once joined a gay flag football league in Chicago hoping to meet new people, so consider finding a sport, a cause, a social network, a new hobby you want to learn, anything! Then go with an open mind and a willingness to trust people. Allow others to get to know you and leave your fear of rejection behind. A key thing to remember is that most of the people you talk to are looking for new friends too or will happily include you in their existing circles (assuming you're not loco). Someone just has to make the first move. Let it be YOU!

Our short-lived flag football days

Our short-lived flag football days

Have you ever moved to a new city? What did you do to meet new people? How long did it take for you to make good friends?

2 Comments on “Meeting New People In A New City: Part 2 – Offline And In Person”

  1. Jeruen says:

    That’s the reason I love hostelling; you get to meet interesting travelers from everywhere. Although it takes effort to continue the acquaintance after meeting. I met a few cool friends when I was in a hostel in Seattle in 2009, kept in touch for a few years, but things gradually went cold.

    That being said, it’s still cool to chitchat on the road: I’ve spent a few awesome evenings with fellow travelers chatting in pidgin Spanish in Honduras over rum last year, or having coffee with a middle-aged Japanese couple I bumped into while in a post office in Sofia last month, I got to practice again my Japanese which is getting rusty! We exchanged emails; here’s hoping communication continues.

    1. So true Jeruen! Staying at a hostel is a great way to make connections. Sometimes those connections become great friends, sometimes just acquaintances you had the pleasure of interacting with. Either way, it’s a worthy exchange and one we’ve found invaluable during our travels. Now working at hostel, I’m learning about the hostel atmosphere from a different perspective and am stil enjoying it. :)

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