You’re new in town? How to find your tribe

finding your tribeArriving to a new country can feel a bit lonely in the beginning. So how do you cope during these first few weeks, and how do you build up your network?

Of course, this depends on what brought you to the country you moved to in the first place.

In my case, I moved to Germany to eventually join a Masters degree program. Thankfully, back in 2010 there were not that many social media platforms yet. It was either CouchSurfing or Facebook when it came to finding new people to hang out with. So that is exactly what I did. Went online, pimped up my profiles, and so began the search for the perfect new acquaintance to take me out for coffee and show me the capital of the Euro (Frankfurt am Main, in case you haven’t read my intro).

With the intention to learn German, I was determined to meet native speakers so I could start practicing ASAP (which I obviously didn’t. It took me some years to actually speak it). I remember looking into the different CS profiles, making sure the photos and descriptions didn’t look questionable. In the end, I picked a guy and a girl and met them separately. And I picked well. Both became really good friends of mine and introduced me to their network. Later on, once I started attending German classes, got a job and started going to the university, I was able to make my own friends and build my own network, my own tribe.

Of course, life happens. Friends come and go. Yet, I can still say that the boy who took me for coffee back then is still one of my dearest friends. By the way, after 7 years, we still don’t speak German to each other… I guess it’s hard to switch the language after so long.

So, fast forward to 2017. You’re new in town. How do you start meeting people?

1. Facebook

There are a bunch of webpages for newbies (and not so newbies) that inform you about events happening in your town that most of the international community attend to. In Frankfurt, I recommend this one and this one. You can always search for your city plus the word “expats” or “new in __” and you will definitely get a few results.

2. Meetup & Internations

I discovered meetup.com not that long ago and I love it. It is a worldwide community of people looking to meet up with locals or expats. Simply sign up and look for meetups in your town. There are all kinds of meet ups, from book clubs, yoga and meditation groups to “§$%ck up nights”, so it caters to all tastes 🙂

Internations on the other hand is more of a professional networking website for expats. I personally found the meetings and events a bit too posh for my taste, but hey! it might just be your thing.

3. Take a class

Either at your nearest gym, salsa studio, yoga studio, language school, whatever rocks your boat. Simply get out of your comfy comfort zone and expose yourself to the awkwardness of being the newbie in the group. Show up, smile (not creepily though), open up and let it flow. You will not only have tons of fun doing something you enjoy but also, maybe, meet someone you really resonate with.

4. Try a tandem

Tandem is basically meeting up with someone who speaks a language you want to learn, who wants to learn the language that you speak. There are tons of groups on Facebook (or at your local language school) where you can arrange a meeting. It is fun and if things get too complicated you can always (or at least most of the times) switch to english.

5. Go for your hobby

If there is something that you are already very much into, such as hiking or doing yoga, excelente! It is much easier to find your tribe this way as you will immediately click and have something to talk about (in case you’re one of the ones that have trouble with chit-chat). It will also be much easier to find a group online that you will feel comfortable with. Just google or search on the websites I mentioned earlier and voila! I am sure you will be super networked in no-time.


24 thoughts on “You’re new in town? How to find your tribe

  1. I can relate to this post so much, I moved to Germany for an internship! I intended to learn the language but my main barrier is that everyone speaks to me in English. Secondly I found I couldn’t learn German in the same way as I’ve learnt other languages…don’t even get me started on der die das

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I lived in Spain for 6 months. It was really difficult for me to maker friends, and funny enough i made pretty great friends near the end as i put my phone down and started trying new things! I think your suggestions are spot on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am new in my office , officially the “newbie”, wow , now that’s a lil bit terrifying , but its good to get out of your comfort zone too , otherwise you will miss the new things 😂😋😊

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  4. Great post! I would’ve loved to see this before I left for Spain for a year but luckily I did use some of these ideas to make friends. I would also add local support groups to this list. As a gay woman, I found an LGBT support group while I lived in Spain and that is where I met most of my friends. I also had another buddy that met people through a church community. Thank you for sharing! -Em

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  5. Thank you for such an uplifting post!
    We have recently moved to a new city and it’s easy to feel daunted by the thought of making new friends as an adult. You’ve given me encouragement to step outside of my comfort zone a little further and socialise more ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this! I wish I had known of some of these options when I moved to Brazil this time! It is so different being an adult abroad when you don’t belong to any sort of predestined group! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Tumbleweed Soul and commented:
    For all of you heading off to a new place, whether through school, work, or just by choice…here are some great tips to building a strong community!

    Meeting people is hard, especially as an adult, but community is important to mental and emotional health (for most people anyway)! Get out there and find your tribe!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Susie sent me! Since I love quinoa, practice yoga, and love to travel I want to check out your blog. Excellent advice. It makes it easier to get settled! Wanted to comment. Heading to check out another post and follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I enjoyed reading your post and I can totally relate. I moved to UAE (Dubai) a few years back for work. I signed up for Internations and went to a few of their meetings. It was a fun way of making new friends. Finding your tribe when you move to a new place is really important.

    Liked by 1 person

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