Our decision to move to Exeter was made very quickly and very decisively, my husband was working for a company with offices in Exeter and London and was spending a few days a week in Exeter.
We had been thinking about moving somewhere outdoorsy and nearer the sea for a long time and we had been looking for a family friendly naturally beautiful place to move to. One day in June 2016 hubby said, let’s move to Exeter and I said (very casually) “OK then”, one visit and one month later we packed our little world up and headed to the beautiful South West.
Both hubby and I have moved around a bit in our lives covering; Scotland, Yorkshire, the USA, New Zealand and Australia and one of the most unsettling things about moving far from home (where you know no one) is the heady combo of leaving your old friends and the prospect of finding new ones. Back when we were moving around a lot we didn’t have the gift of the internet or Social Media and friends were made through much more traditional methods but these days you can make friends before you even move.
I’m a massive advocate of Social Media and of building communities through Social Media.
Here are my 5 tips for making friends online when moving to a far away place:
- Harness the power of social – Social Media IS your friend when it comes to finding like minded people, and there are lots of sites that you can find like minded people on. Facebook is great for meeting friends socially, LinkedIn is great for finding business people to connect with and on Twitter (my fav) you can find both. Determine who you are looking for and where they will be hanging out.
- Join Facebook Groups and start asking questions – My go-to group on Facebook before I moved was Mums in Exeter, with just over 2,500 people in the group and lots of like-minded Mums it is a great place to start asking questions before you move, I gathered info about places to go, schools and areas that was priceless. I also started a thread about moving from South London and found a group of Mums who had also made the move who I now hang out with. Look for groups of people who share your interests. For example, if you are really into surfing you can type ‘surfing Devon’ into Facebook search and find yourself some relevant groups to join.
- Like relevant pages – I like to climatise before I move, so I searched for pages that a relevant to Exeter and liked ones that interest me, often there are threads where you can chat to people. A good group for finding stuff to do in Exeter is Fun & Free ( or cheap ) Events Activities Families Exeter and Amelie who runs that group really took me under her wing when I moved and became my first Exeter friend.
- Try a Meet up because it’s not all about finding Mummy and Daddy friends – Meet up is a site where you can find like minded people to meet with. There are lots of Exeter meet ups but Escape Exeter looks like a particularly busy one. Before you move you can search the Meet Up website for like minded groups near you, it may be a foodie meet up or a book club, there are lots of local people on there looking to make new friends.
- Follow people locally and start chatting on Twitter – Twitter is definitely my favourite Social platform, Back in Croydon I met some of my closest friends on Twitter, I got involved with Croydon Tech City, Eat Ups, Meet ups and I even organised Tweet Ups. If Twitter is your platform too, it’s a great place to start.
If you have any questions, or need any more tips, just drop me a line below 🙂