When I moved to Darwin, I knew that my partner and I were going to be posted here for quite a few years, so this was going to be my time to settle down and make friends.
It seemed like an easy enough task, but when you think about it, without the help of school or on campus university classes to spark a connection, making friends can actually be a tricky task.
For me it feels incredibly awkward. Making friends feels like something you do on the first day of kindergarten, not something you do as an adult. It’s even weirder when you think that all the grown ups around you probably already have friends, and you are just some strange intruder.
But I am determined. For my two methods of friend making I joined a ballet class and a book club. I’ve been going to ballet for about a month now, but so far I haven’t struck gold in the friendship department.
The book club is a different story. Last Sunday was my first meeting, and I was absolutely terrified. Not only did it feel weird to be going somewhere with the goal of manufacturing a friendship, but I knew no one, had never been to the place we were meeting, and I’m an introverted person by nature.
After telling my partner I didn’t want to go a million times and crying in the car on the way there I put on my big girl pants and just went in.
Just take it one step at a time was my motto, but the two and a half hours passed by in kind of a blur. I learnt some names, chatted a bit about what brought me to Darwin, and used my literature degree to win some points in the book discussion.
My biggest friend-making achievement to date came when I bought a drink for one of the other women there. I mean, if it works for dating, why not for forging friendships?
After my first book club, I haven’t yet managed to find my kindred spirit, but I remain optimistic. The next meeting is in a month, and I know that if I’m going to find my friends in Darwin then I will have to keep going – even if I have to have a little cry before I go.
Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see more posts about my mission to make friends! Have you had any experiences like this? How do you make friends in a new place?