It doesn’t matter if it’s Japan, Germany or any other country in the world. If you move to a new country, you usually have to start all over with your social circle of friends and acquaintances.
Living abroad can be intimidating and finding your way in this new life can take up all of your time for the first months. But once you are settled in and everything that has to be done is done, you might start to feel a bit lonely. Speaking with family and friends at home will make you feel better, but over the screen interaction can only do so much. Sometimes it’s just nice to meet someone for a drink, take a walk together or watch a movie.
If you are an extroverted person who loves to meet new people and get yourself out there, it probably won’t be difficult to remedy that situation. Just go out, pick up a drink at one of the many bars and clubs and start a conversation with the person next to you.
But if the thought of going out and speaking to a stranger gives you the heebie-jeebies, I’m right there with you. So what do you do, when you don’t know anyone and are too shy to just straight up sit down next to a person in a café and start talking? That’s what I have been asking myself.
Fortunately we live in the age of the internet and for most it is actually quite easy to find people online to talk to. Hidden behind your own screen, having time to think about what you say or write, makes it easier. It might also be the fastest way to find like-minded people and bond through common interests. The problem is, that often those people are thousands of miles away, just like your loved ones at home. But the internet can nevertheless be of help, since today there are so many apps and websites out there, to connect you with people around you. One of those I found is Meetup.
In their own words: “Meetup brings people together in thousands of cities to do more of what they want to do in life. It is organized around one simple idea: when we get together and do the things that matter to us, we’re at our best. And that’s what Meetup does. It brings people together to do, explore, teach and learn the things that help them come alive.”
So it hasn’t been a month and I already have to change my new year’s resolutions, because they just are not enough. There is one very important addition I have to make, which is friendship. It’s time to jump over my shadow and get out there to meet people. I have found a few groups that seem to fit perfectly and the first event is this Friday. So wish me luck … and if you happen to live in Osaka or are visiting this lovely town and feel like company, just drop me a line 😉