After moving to a new city, you need to find a new hairdresser. Unless you are this crazy friend of mine, willing to wait for her annual holiday home, to get her hair done.
Similarly, after relocating to a new city, you need to find new friends (of course you’ll keep in touch with your old friends online and keep a place for them eternally in your heart). Soon enough, you are craving for new friends – someone you can hang out with on the week-end, call to share your emotions, attend music festivals, go to the markets, grab a cup of coffee or just chill out. Suddenly, as an adult, you find yourself wondering about the mechanics of making friends and googling “How do I meet new friends after moving?”. And this is what you search results will pull up.
Firstly, it is about meeting the right people and find some common ground. Secondly, it is about meeting regularly and building trust over time.
But where can I find these fantastic people who would want to be friends? Every woman who has moved to a new city is in the same situation. Hence, our basic intuition was to create a space for women to meet.
Recently I met R., who moved here due to her partners work. Over a cup of coffee she sadly admitted “back home, I used to have a busy social life. We were a group of 5 or 6 girlfriends. We hung out most of the time together. I could just be myself with them. But even after 4 years, I still haven’t made real friends. My husband is my best friend…It is a bit too much for him sometimes… And it is not the same as girlfriends… I feel like I am a different person here.”
Many of us feel the same when new here. It is an illusion to believe you are the only one feeling this way. It is not easy to make friends as an adult.
To solve this problem, we have started to organize “Friendship Cafes”, to connect together women new in town. We have been stroked by how much we have in common. Despite different nationalities, age, background and industry, we all need friends. We all long for genuine friendships. We are all going through life-changing migration. We all love cooking. We all love café. It is amazing to talk and realize how much we have in common. These commonalities and the desire to connect are a strong base for friendship.
Yet, it takes time to make friends. It takes time to gain trust, to build relationships. The more we meet, the stronger the bond becomes. That’s why Key Into Australia is more a network than an event-based organization. We are a network for women to meet and to keep meeting by doing together things. We organize regular Friendship Cafes as introductory session for women who want to join the network. From then, women who join our network can start hosting their own events for other members. It can be a brunch, a visit to the museum, an outing to the beach. It can be sharing their skills and talent, like a coaching session or a yoga class. Over time, connections become stronger and friendship develop, at their own pace. There are always new members joining all year round, so it renews the possibility for meeting someone with who you click.
By bringing like-minded women together regularly, we have managed to stir authentic friendships that continue to blossom over time. When I see on social media the glamourous pics of outings of the girls of our network, who might not have met otherwise, it makes me feel happy. Friendship brings sun in life and anchors you in your new city. Friends are not nice to have, they are essential to a happy life. Come and meet us soon!