Perhaps one of the most daunting things about relocating to the Gold Coast, or anywhere in the world for that matter, and leaving your old life behind is the prospect of having to start over, make new friends, and build a new network.
Starting over can be scary. Here are some of my experiences and tips to hopefully help you get settled and make new friends.
You'll find that people in the sunny state seem to have a more sunny disposition and generally welcome newbies with open arms. We found as we were exploring that everyone is up for a chat and keen to lend a hand or share their insights and knowledge.
Kids & Schools
If you have kids, particularly in their school-going years, you will probably meet loads of new people by association, through your kids’ school, child care, parties and sporting activities.
When we made the move to the Gold Coast my kids’ new school had a Parents & Carers Facebook Page. It not only gave me a great sense of what the school and community were going to be like, but it was also a great tool to meet people.
I put up a post introducing ourselves, saying that we had just moved from Sydney with two kids and that we’d love to meet some parents and for the kids to make some friends before the school year started. The response was heart-warming and before the school had started I had organised a couple of meetups/playdates and met the most amazing set of mums and kids. Some of which we're still friends with to this day.
When you first move into a new area check to see if there are any local / like-minded family focussed Facebook groups, like Tweed And Southern Gold Coast Mums Group, Gold Coast Single Parents Social, Autism Families Gold Coast or perhaps the school has a Facebook page or group like mine did (ask your school reception).
Another great way to meet other parents at the school is by getting involved with the school activities, volunteer or join the P&C. Ask your school reception how you can get involved.
Now here’s an old-fashioned idea – go and meet the neighbours 😉.
When you first move in, go and knock on your neighbours’ doors and introduce yourself, if they haven't yet welcomed you to the neighbourhood.
I recommend you do this within the first two weeks of moving into your new home, anything after that becomes a little awkward.
Not only is it a good idea as it gets you off on the right foot with your neighbours, it also means you build a neighbourly rapport. And who knows maybe you’ll end up making some new friends.
Most of our lifetime friendships are made in school, university and through work. If you’re starting a new job, or relocating with an existing one, then this is a great place for you to meet new people, as you already have at least one thing in common. Especially when you’re new to the job, put yourself out there and participate where you can in any social activities or outings.
Sites & Social Networks
The internet is full of sites and social networks waiting to connect you to like-minded souls.
There are groups for absolutely everything. Whether you’re a dad who rides bikes, a woman who loves hiking and adventures, or an avid crocheter …. I can guarantee you there’s a meetup or social group out there for you. Just go to Meetup.com or Facebook Groups and check out the many groups on offer.
Join a Club
Joining a sporting club or hobby club creates instant opportunity for bonding. Join a gym, an art class, the local surf club or a footy team. See what clubs are near you. Browse Community Clubs & Interest Groups and Sports Clubs.
Now don’t be discouraged if the first people you meet don’t end up being your new besties.
Making new friends is just like buying a new pair of jeans, you try on five pairs before finding ‘the one’. It’s the same with friends, you’ll likely meet loads of new people and with some you click and build friendships and others will fade and fizzle. Friendships are not made overnight – give it time. (but don’t forget to nurture them, they don’t just magically appear, you have to work at them)