Meet-Up: How to Meet People When You Are New in Town

So you have made the big move. Not a change of postcode type of thing. A change of country. One where you will face many obstacles as you aim to assimilate as quickly as possible into your new life abroad.

When one has made such a major life choice (because let’s face it, this is exactly what this is), there are many unknowns that need to be faced: where to live, where to work, and most importantly where to find people to hang out with!

Travelling alone – when all you have is yourself

The most daunting aspect about moving to a foreign place, involves the notion that you may very well be doing it alone. You’re closest companions may be living in a different time zone – it will probably be a different day altogether!

But deep down you know that you will find a room, a job, and places to explore when you make your adjustment into this far-off land. The one guarantee that cannot be made however, is who you will meet.

But it doesn’t have to be a complete shot in the dark. You have the power to control the type of people you meet, in a place you are only just getting to know yourself. Meet-Up’s are the perfect way to ensure that this exciting experience doesn’t have to be lived all on your lonesome.

London

Meet-Up in London anyone?

What exactly is a Meet-Up?

Meet-Up’s are a little different to social platforms like Facebook, where you can connect with anyone the world over that you share common interests with.

Instead, Meet-Up’s are largely based on a user’s location. Meet-Up is an app (and a website for those non-smartphone users out there); and once a user registers their information, it is really up to you on where you want to go with it.

It allows users to search, join and attend gatherings, whether casual or more elaborate, that take place in their current city; where they can meet other like-minded people, and ideally make new friends.

Anyone can create a group, although there is a fee involved to do so (but you can create a group to your own specifications which is a plus!). These groups can be anything from expat groups, young professionals, weekend fillers, foodies, movie buffs, networking opportunities or dating events. The list as they say, is literally endless.

Usually these groups will meet regularly – most of them either fortnightly or monthly; offering users who join their group the chance to enjoy a night out or a whole day, with other people who are just like you and looking to meet new people.

If you attend these groups regularly, you may even make some meaningful friendships (it’s kinda the point!).

Meet-Up in Hyde Park

Meet-Up in Hyde Park, London

The bonus  – when Meet-Up’s really pay off

Since my own arrival in London eight months ago, I have had the opportunity to explore London and its nightlife with other Australian expats, Canadian expats (we are part of the same family after all, and they don’t discriminate by nationality), as well as people who are new to London that want to explore the city.

Joining just these groups alone has allowed me to create some wonderful friendships that will extend long past my time in this city.

My Facebook friend list has expanded to include more nationalities, and I have found friends to discover this wonderful city with, travel with, celebrate birthdays and New Year’s Eve with, ensuring that I never have to go out alone.

Before Meet-Up’s, most people relied on meeting people through work or house shares. Although there is nothing wrong with this line of action (and I have made some wonderful friendships through these aspects too), a person is far more likely to make long lasting, true friendships with people they share common interests and identify with.

The Meet-Up network currently has a membership base of just under 16 million people, spanning 196 countries with 2 million RSVP’s to events per week! With numbers like these, it is easy to see just how beneficial this app can be to any newbie in an unfamiliar place – especially one as big as London.

Meet-Up in a British pub

Meet-Up in a British pub

Travelling is forever changed for me

This app was the life raft I clung to in my initial weeks of setting myself up in London – a city I had only visited once before. It allowed me to feel happy in a place that was not home while I adjusted to the reality of my decision – the good and the bad.

The best thing about it though is that when I finally finish here, or move on to another unfamiliar land, I will have this app to help me connect with others, make more friendships with and network from.

I never have to feel alone in a city ever again, or worry about heading off on my own to somewhere new because there is always someone to Meet-Up with wherever I am; and that’s the best part!

More travel tips

Have your say...

  1. Pandy Benson

    Great advice, Toni. I could certainly have benefitted from this when I lived overseas in 3 different countries and knew no-one. It would have made what was a very lonely experience for an introvert, a far more palatable one. Do you experience many older women taking advantage of this app/service? – Nancy (PB is pseudonym)

    Reply
    • toni

      Hi Nancy, it is funny how we can look back and say, ‘if only’ we had this back then. But I am so lucky I have things like this and even a smartphone really, life is so much easier! There are people of all ages who use this App. It really just depends on what your interests are. But I meet people from all sorts of places and vary in age from 18 to well over 60. It is worth investigating to see if anything applies to you, and the type of people you’d want to connect with, (depending on where you live of course!)

      Reply
  2. Carol

    Isn’t amazing how technology has changed how we interact and see the world?

    Reply
    • toni

      Thanks for reading Carol! It is very true! I didn’t really think about how much technology would benefit me before coming over here; aside from keeping in touch with home. It is truly amazing!

      Reply
  3. Mark Frazer

    As a father, it is always a worry when his little girl ventures out into the unknown. What I do know is this, with the friendships she has found along the way, has been so comforting for all of her relatives and friends back home , knowing that her trip into the unknown, is now more like visiting family. So proud of you Toni .. from all of us in the land of Aus

    Reply
  4. Mark Frazer

    Hi Toni it is mum great reading lots of information glad when you got over there you had nice people to meet up with and have made some great friends peace of mind for us at home love you darling keep up the great writing and very good information to other people that want to travel by themself ………we all miss you love mum

    Reply
    • toni

      Thanks Serena! It is worth a look wherever you are. Offers a good night out if nothing else 🙂

      Reply

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