When you move somewhere new, one of the main concerns beyond all the practical stuff like where will I live, how much will it really cost is will I make friends? We’ve put together this handy guide for how to find some people to hang out with, of course the getting them to like you is on you and if you’re a generally unpleasant person it probably won’t help but we know you’re all lovely so all you’ve got to do is find the people…
- Let people know where you’re headed! The world is significantly smaller than it once was, so chances are you already know someone here so let the world know you’re coming, probably using Facebook, and tap your existing network for both existing friends that have made it here before you or even friends of friends. One of my friends over here is someone I went to uni with and hadn’t seen in 10 years before coming over, a simple “I’m coming too” message was all that connection took. I’ve also had friends put me in touch with people they knew over here.
- Contact you uni alum office. They will have details of people in the area that you may not have, or will be able to tell you if there is a San Fran chapter hosting any events.
- Join Meetup. There is literally tons of stuff going on on there, from wellness events, business events, mummy groups, hiking groups, you get the gist…
- Facebook groups. Again, there’s loads of groups on there, we’re members of Silicon Valley Brit Parents and have found it amazing. There’s events on regularly from play dates, book club, ladies nights out, family picnics. They’re pretty loose on the links to the UK so don’t be put off by that, you do need to be a parent though.
- We’ve also been recommended MOMS Club of Sunnyvale which is part of the national organization MOMS Club. The chapter organizes lots of meetups and events and has an annual joining fee of just $38.
- Use your kids if you have them. Don’t try and sell them or anything, but, you gave them life and what seems like a never ending supply of shoes so let them get you some friends. Kids make friends quickly, especially if they’re in school so use that to make friends with the parents. People will naturally chat to you at the school gate especially if their little angel has been going on about the new kid from England, so chat back, invite the kids over for play dates, if you have a pool you’ll be winning at this! Also, choose activities for them where you have to stand around watching, you can bond with the other parents pretty well standing round a track watching your little darlings!
- Attend local events. If you want to make friends in your local area, make sure you attend local events. It’s very tempting to get out and explore all the surrounding areas straight away but it’s a great idea to stick local for a bit, get your bearings and make use of opportunities to connect with other locals.
- Join a gym or a club and attend a class. There is a massive variety of gyms and clubs you can join from your local community sports center, various yoga studios all the way up to prestigious country clubs. Find something that floats your boat, join, attend something groupy and chat to people. People in the Bay are very friendly and used to welcoming newcomers, there’s a fair chance they’re new themselves so go with it. If sport’s not your thing there’s also arty stuff in most towns and drama too, but if you’re into dramatics you probably don’t need our help making friends. Also, chess is a huge thing in Cupertino especially so don’t be shy if that’s your thing.
- Introduce yourself to your neighbours. This isn't something we've tried as we're shy lol, but some do say hi when they see Sam working on one of his random cars, so there is evidence that this does work especially if you've opted for community living.
- Like our Facebook page! Become part of The Bay Collective and head over to the Brits in the Bay Facebook page, we regularly post all sorts of different events happening throughout the area, if something takes your fancy let us know in the comments and maybe another member would be interested in going along too. We’ll start a group soon too, just need a few more hours in the day!
We hope these tips help, if you have handy tips of your own, drop them in the comments. And don’t forget we’re here if you need us, so feel free to get in touch any time!