When you move to a new place without knowing anyone, solitude is inevitable. Remember, this is temporary! So take this opportunity to enjoy your own company, explore the city on your own, take your own conclusions about the new place. Go for a beer alone, talk to the waitress, talk to the taxi driver, talk to the hostel receptionist, talk to the guy next to you in the bus. Ask questions. Ask for suggestions. Get lost. Walk. Explore. Think. Go deep in your own emotions. It is a great opportunity to know yourself better, you will feel everything the city has to offer, and then you will be ready to make friends – and they will come, don’t worry. You will meet people in unexpected places, and they will become everything to you.
Don’t rush and don’t panic to make friends. If you are working abroad, you will meet them trough work, and you will meet the friends of you co-workers. If you are studying abroad, meeting people is even easier. You will have an entire new group of classmates to enjoy!
A few good tips: join Facebook communities such as “Expats in China” “Americans in Chile” “Traveling in South America” “Studying in Asia”… These groups are helpful to understand the country, meet people and create some reference. Find if there are any organizations from your home country, normally there is a community of ‘expats’ excited to have you. Be open, social, kind and talk to people. The most important: respect everything that is different!
But don’t exclude yourself from the local community. In case you have a hard time to meet locals, find a place where you can volunteer, or take a night course in a local school. Locals are key for a complete experience abroad. You want to integrate in the community. They will be super helpful in giving you suggestions on where to go, what to do, where to live; they will explain their costumes and culture, they will take you places, they will become your family away from home… So enjoy it!
Also, longer you live abroad, more people you will know who are in the same path as you. Before moving, ask around. Someone will have a ‘friend’ or a ‘friend of a friend’ living in your new location, and by experience, they will be glad to help you.
Psss… We are fortunate to live in the era of technology. A huge thanks to WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram so I can keep in touch with the amazing people I’ve met on the way… This is the best and worst part of living in the world. Throughout my adventures I’ve met the most amazing people I could have asked for. Some friends became my family, and I am forever thankful for them. I miss you all!