Stranger danger: Moving to a new city

With today’s global economy it’s almost inevitable that you’ll need to move cities for your career. Moving to a new city is hard, especially if you’re alone and don’t know anyone. You can feel intense feelings of isolation but luckily with today’s technology there’s several ways you can meet new people both online and in person. Aside from technology there’s also everyday situations you can use to meet people.

The most important tip I can give you is drop your “stranger danger” shield and be prepared to initiate conversations. I’m introverted, so my natural inclination is to shy away from social interactions with strangers. With enough practice and egging yourself on you’ll get better at initiating conversations. Play on the fact you’re new in the city when initiating a conversation. Below are examples of what’s worked for me:

Tools

Meetup- Meetup is a fantastic way to meet like-minded people with similar interests. Download the app and search for groups in your area. Tips: looks for groups with members that have a similar age profile to you and group names like “New to Perth”.

https://www.meetup.com/

Companions- Companions is a great way to meet people in a new city, however it does come with some warnings. Create a profile and look for people online in your area but be careful of fake profiles that lead to internet scams.

http://www.companions.com.au/

Parkrun- If you’re into running I recommend joining your local Parkrun group. Try running without headphones if you want to initiate conversations during your run. Opening lines could include “have you done many runs?”, “what time are you aiming for?” and if they ask questions back be sure to mention that you’re new to the city.

http://www.parkrun.com.au/

Facebook- Becoming friends with someone on Facebook has almost replaced the exchanging of phone numbers. If you meet someone you like be sure to add them on Facebook and you’ll find social opportunities will grow from there. If you’re based in Perth search for Sam Smith and try to get yourself to a Stranger Danger dinner (http://popupcity.net/strange-dinners-with-seven-strangers/).

There could also be groups in your city or neighbourhood worth joining. I’ve joined Perth Have A Whinge which gives a great insight into local issues.

Places

Neighbours- Some old book that I’ve never bothered reading apparently says to “love thy neighbour”. In all seriousness go out of your way to get to know your neighbours. Chances are they’ve already established a social network with people in your suburb and could be great way to establish new friends.

Coffee Shops- Coffee shops are a great place to meet people but you have to be prepared to initiate conversations. Look for opportunities by observing what people are wearing, reading or talking about. If someone is wearing gym gear a line could be “have you just been to the gym, I’ve just moved here and am looking for a new gym?”.

Planes- If you’re flying to your new home, chances are the passenger next to you will be returning home. When they sit down ask the question “flying home?”. Most times this will break the ice and enable you to ask further probing questions such as their recommendations for things to do, places to eat etc.

Community events- Look for community events in your area such as markets, street parties, sports events and trivia nights. These all provide opportunities to meet locals.

Swan River
Swan River – Perth