Finding People in a New Place

So you’ve arrived to a new place and or you’ve been there for a while, but you don’t know anybody. How can you find people you click with? Here are a couple things that have worked for me.

Keep In Mind: Others want to meet you too!

The first thing to remember is, that you are not alone looking to meet people. Many others are in the same situation. Sometimes when we feel lonely, it feels like we are the only person who feels alone. The reality is that there are many, many people who would like to get to know you. You just have to find them.

Groups, Groups, Groups

One of the easiest ways to meet people is to go to places where people go to meet people. Events, courses, interest clubs, any kind of groups. Doing something together makes it easier to get into conversation.

Searching Online: There is a couple places where you can look online.

Facebook Local

In many countries people organize and advertise events through facebook.
I just discovered very recently that there is a the facebook local app (different from the normal facebook app) specifically for finding events. You can just choose a location there and will be shown events, there is even a map for that!!! This will be your first choice in many places.

Meetup, Eventbrite

In some cities, you can find interesting things to do through www.meetup.com. This way I have found and taken incredible improv theatre and comedy courses, had a lot of fun and found new friends.

In other cities, www.eventbrite.com works better. You will find interesting events and talks. On my first day in Georgia for example I attended a conference on Georgian-German relations. This way I met the German embassador to Georgia, members of the parliament, other interesting people and got to learn a lot about the place in a very short time. In London, I met the Governor and almost president of a South American country. All just by looking what is going on the next day or even the same night.

Meet Travelers and Locals Through Couchsurfing

On www.couchsurfing.com you can meet travelers and locals, in some places you will also find events. On Couchsurfing you can usually meet people who will be happy to either explore the place with you or to give you valuable tipps on where to go. Just search for people in the place where you are and ask them to meet up or send them your questions. I have met many incredibly people that way, found people to travel with and been invited to events I would not have found otherwise.

City websites

In lots of cities around the world, you can find a register of sports clubs and cultural clubs in the city on the cities website. These clubs usually meet regularly, so you can just write them a short message to find out, when and where they meet. I did not try this a lot, but it certainly works.

Search Offline

Searching offline can be done efficiently by going asking these places
* tourist information
* local library
* community centers
People are usually well connected there or know how to get the relevant information.

Other more random approaches would be to just go to random shop or person on a park bench and ask them. It might take talking to a couple of people until you find what you want.

Arrive early, take breaks and stay long

I learned an important hack from a good friend to maximize my social energy:
If you go to a meeting with new people: Arrive early if possible. If you show up before most of the people show up, you have a good chance of meeting the host and getting introduced to people one by one. Also you can make others who arrive later feel welcome. And if you don’t have the courage

Sometimes I take a rest in between, if it is a long meeting, to gather some energy. If my social energy is depleted and I feel like I want to leave, often it is enough to take a short trip to the toilet, or go to a quiet area in venue. Often my energy will be renewed and I am willing to engage again.

If you can, stay long, or join people to go somewhere else. This is a good way to start building bonds.

What else have you tried? What works for you? What is a challenge? Leave me a message. I’m curious to hear…

4 Replies to “Finding People in a New Place”

  1. Great ideas, Gabriel! I love the get there early and stay late idea – often I do just the opposite- and get expected results- not meeting anybody, leaving feeling lonely and that it was a waste. Next time I’m invited to a social event, I will have an intention to make it early, and plan to stay late.

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