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Making Friends in New State or Country

Monday, October 16, 2023

You might feel at a loss when you move to a new location and leave behind your old social circle. Where do you begin building a new community? How to make friends after moving to a new state or a new country?

Making friends when you relocate to a new city, another state, or abroad in your 50s can be a struggle. The challenge may seem overwhelming, but there are many practical ways to meet and befriend the locals, from attending social events to joining online groups.

Relax, keep smiling, and follow these tips for fostering meaningful connections in unfamiliar surroundings. Very soon, you will manage to build a social network in your new location.

Two friends hugging while standing outdoors in the park of their new neighborhood

Why Making Friends After Moving Matters?

Establishing social ties and making friends after moving to a new location is more than just an icing on the cake. It’s a crucial part of the adjustment process. Having friends enhances your well-being, provides a support system, and makes your new place feel like home. 

Socializing also means getting to know people with different backgrounds, perspectives, and lifestyles. That can broaden your horizons and help you grow as an individual. 

Experts say that while having close friends boosts our health and well-being, even brief interactions with others are good for us. So making friends after moving should be one of your priorities. 

How to Make Friends in a New State or a New City

Nothing will come out of sitting at home. Get out of your comfort zone. You have to go out and put effort into meeting people, staying in touch with old friends, and making new friends in a new state or city. The opportunities are limitless. Just pick the ones that are right for you!

Get to know your neighbors  

Your new neighborhood is the logical place to start forging social connections and making friends after moving. Knock on a few doors to introduce yourself, say hello to people who live near you when you see them, and be ready to start a conversation. 

A casual housewarming party is an opportunity to let your neighbors know you’ve moved in and to show them you are looking forward to socializing and making friends.   

Join clubs, groups, or organizations

The task of building friendships becomes much easier when you join a group of like-minded people. You get to enjoy a mutual experience without worrying about awkward silences and without wrecking your brain trying to come up with a topic of conversation. Being around people who share your interests is an excellent foundation for forging friendships. 

It is customary for people to go out for a drink after having participated in an activity. Be sure to go with them, it’s a great opportunity to make friends in a new city. If needs be, invite yourself. Simply ask to come along! If you keep quiet, others may assume that you are not interested.  

The group you join can be anything. Here are just a few ideas for making friends:

Sports club: Take your pick: tennis, softball, volleyball, kickball, basketball, or bowling. Participating in a group sport is one of the easiest ways to make friends in a new state and a fun way to stay in shape. No wonder adult sports clubs are so popular! 

Classes and workshops: Learning something new helps keep your mind sharp and allows you to meet new people. A language class or cooking workshop is an excellent setting for social interaction and friendship. 

Volunteering: Investing your time and energy into a good cause is a fantastic way to meet new people and make friends in a new city. Volunteer work will also give you a sense of fulfillment and purpose. You can participate in community cleaning projects, mentor students, or assist in a food bank. 

Accept invitations

Embrace every opportunity to socialize. If someone invites you to hang out, accept, whether it’s about a group picnic or a pub trivia night. Saying yes to invitations is a crucial strategy for making new friends after moving. Besides, new experiences can enrich your life. 

Send invitations

Invite the people you’ve met, even if only for coffee and a chat. Or host a barbecue or a game night and have a group of your new acquaintances. Opening your home lets your guests learn more about your personality and may set grounds for a closer relationship in a new place.

A retired couple chatting and making friends with their new neighbors

Learn the art of small talk

Some people have a knack for conversing. Others, not so much. The ability to carry a casual conversation is crucial for building a rapport with strangers, so it’s a good idea to hone your skills.

You don’t have to be an exceptional communicator. Ask open-ended questions about the person you meet and listen actively. Have a few small talk topics ready, such as favorite shows, movies, sports, food, or hobbies. Weather and travel are also firm staples of casual chit-chat.

Support local businesses

Frequenting local restaurants and shops allows you to establish a rapport with the staff and the owners. You will also get to know other regular customers and potentially make new friends. 

Dip into online communities

Online social platforms can be a valuable resource for making friends in a new city or a new state. Look for groups dedicated to newcomers or groups whose interests you share. When you feel confident, you may take an online relationship into the real world.

Stand out

This advice won’t suit you if you are shy, but some people who have moved home often suggest attracting attention to yourself. For example, you may don an outlandish hat for a local event. That should work very well as a conversation starter! 

Go on a date 

If you don’t have a partner, remember that romance does not have to stop at 50. You probably have a good idea of what you are looking for, which can make the dating process more fulfilling. 

Follow up

When you meet someone, exchange numbers and call to arrange a get-together. Keeping in touch is vital for building and maintaining friendships. 

Have patience and the right mindset

Building friendships takes time, so be patient with yourself. It's normal to feel lonely or out of place initially. Continue to engage in your new community and meet people. In time, you will establish meaningful connections.

Be open and approachable. Smile, make eye contact, and show interest in others. Small gestures like these can make a big difference in how people perceive you. Even if you meet with rejection, don’t take it personally. Remain confident and keep going. 

Two smiling retired women who became friends in the retirement village

How to Make Friends in a New Country

Meeting and befriending people in a new country is similar to making friends in a new city or state. However, there are some additional challenges you may face.

If you move to a non-English speaking country, determine to acquire at least basic knowledge of the language. Also, get to know local customs and traditions to enhance your experience in a new place.

Expats tend to form groups according to their country of origin. Newcomers can often count on support and a ready-made social circle. That makes the transition easier, as well as making friends easier. However, try not to spend time only with other expatriates. Socialize with the locals to truly experience the new culture and fit in. 

Tech-Driven Moving Assistance From Shyft

Whether moving to a new city, another state, or abroad, you have Shyft to help you organize the whole process successfully.

Shyft ensures a smooth and stress-free move at competitive prices. On top of that, AARP members get an exclusive discount of up to $250. 

To start on the right foot, print Shyft’s handy moving checklist. It will help to keep you organized and on track. 

What is Shyft?

Shyft is a technology-enabled moving marketplace. Shyft takes your inventory virtually and connects you with reliable movers. With its vast network of vetted professional moving companies, Shyft can provide any moving service you require. 

Your dedicated Shyft Move Coach will beavailable to answer your questions or assist with any issues that may arise, ensuring you have a smooth and stress-free moving experience.  

AARP Moving Services powered by Shyft is tailor-made for people over 50 because Shyft understands they may need special services and extra support when relocating.

The advantages of moving the Shyft way

Shyft aims to make every relocation a safe and secure experience. The main advantages of entrusting your move to Shyft are:

  • Peace of mind: All moving companies in Shyft’s network are vetted. You don’t need to spend hours searching for reliable movers.
  • Virtual survey: With the help of the highly accurate ShyftNext mobile app, a Shyft representative will take your moving inventory virtually. You don’t need to have moving company agents visit your home.
  • Competitive quotes: Vetted moving companies bid for your moving project on the Shyft platform. That process ensures you get the best pricing.
  • Fixed prices: When you accept a quote, it becomes binding, protecting you from extra fees and unforeseen charges. Shyft’s pricing will not change unless you alter the size or destination of your move.
  • Personalized support: Your dedicated Move Coach will be your single point of contact. They will supervise your move door-to-door, ensuring consistent quality standards. 
  • Round-the-clock assistance: Shyft is at your service seven days a week, 24 hours a day. 
  • Privacy and security: Your personal information is safe with Shyft. 

How many times can I claim my AARP discount?

AARP members get an exclusive discount of up to $250 every time they move, regardless of where they move.

How do I book my move with Shyft?

It is easy to book your move with Shyft. Follow these steps:

  1. Get in touch by completing a short online form or call 1-888-501-3181.
  2. Download the free ShyftNext mobile app for iPhone or Android.
  3. Schedule a video call with a Shyft representative, your dedicated Move Coach.
  4. Take your Move Coach on a virtual tour of your home. Point the camera on your device at the items you want to move and discuss your options with your knowledgeable Move Coach. The video survey usually lasts about 30 minutes.
  5. Receive your inventory list, which is typically 95% accurate. Amend it if necessary and approve it.
  6. Receive at least three top quotes and choose the one that suits you best.
  7. Welcome your movers.

Relax and enjoy peace of mind, knowing that your dedicated Move Coach will oversee your relocation. Then settle in your new home and start building your exciting new life.

Book your stress-free moving experience now.