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Alone in a new country, how did you find friends?

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(Please share experiences, not advice.) Did you move to a new country alone? How did you find friends (I mean real friends, not just party buddies)?

I don't mean "friends" as in people you see at some social function once a month and make smalltalk. By "friends" I mean people who call each other up, meet for tea/coffee, know what's going on in each others' lives, etc... the people you might hang out with on a Friday night or a Sunday afternoon (unless you have some other appointment like a date), or meet spontaneously for dinner during the week. These are people who may be in your life over a long period.

Some people have friends, yes?

I can understand that this may not be important to some people. Perhaps they have a family. Perhaps they have a job where they're around people all the time (and of course, some people find friends there). And some people are more reclusive and don't want to hang around with friends all that much. That's fine.

But some people go to a new country alone, without a family or close friend. And some people either aren't working, or do some kind of work that doesn't involve being with people much (e.g., freelance writer, real estate investor, or jobs you do over the Internet). In these cases, it could be more important for a person to find and build a social circle of some kind, no?

For those who found themselves in that situation...

Did you find expat friends? If so, how did you meet them?

Did you find local friends? If so, how did you meet them?

If it was through some mutual interest or activity, what was it?

Did you feel at the time that it was easy, or difficult?

And what country were you in?

As I said, I'm asking people to share experiences, not advice, as I always find that I can learn more from people that way. Thanks.

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