It takes a while to get used to a new place
Now here is the part people always forget about (also the ones that have moved before, like me). New beginnings are never easy. When you first get to the new place, everything is different then at home and it is exciting. You are exploring this new place and discovering everything. On the other hand, most likely you are doing it completely alone. Unless you already know someone at the place you are moving to, or for some reason your job comes with a group of built in friends (like on a cruise ship or resort, where everybody lives and eats together, since there is nowhere to go), you will first have to find your people at this new place. This could be through work, or a hobby, or anything really; but whatever it is, it will take time. It will take more time then people think. During my many moves, I have realized that it takes about three months to get used to a place, about 6 months to feel you know what is going on, and almost one year to really feel at home with the culture and the place. Of course, it depends how extreme the move is as well. If you just move from one state of your country to another, it will most likely take less time, since you don’t have to adapt to a completely new way of life, and know the language and the culture. Of course there will be differences, but not mayor ones. Now for example, if you were moving from Europe to China (which I have previously done), it might take some people even longer then the above mentioned timeline. The cultural difference is enormous and therefore people might take longer to get over the culture shock they experience. Culture shock is a much bigger element than people think in moving. Click here to read more about it.
Making friends is hard
Now the next challenge, making friends. Remember how easy it was to make friends in elementary school? You just picked one of the children and then the two of you were friends. Well, as an adult it is not so easy. Sometimes you will get lucky, and you will meet someone who you have an instant connection with. You are now saved. However, most of the time this won’t happen. Normally, first you have to go meet people, then you slowly start to get to know them, and eventually after a couple of months, you might start hanging out together. The whole process of getting to know someone as an adult is much longer then as a child. Before it was enough if we both liked the same TV show. Now it is important that we have similar hobbies and interests, similar schedules (preferable), maybe religious and political views, etc. There are so many more factors to consider, that it is hard find those people that will really fit with you. Sometimes you make friends fast, to have someone to spend time with, and after a while realize that actually you don’t really like this person after all. You were in such a rush to get to know someone, that you didn’t look at the factors that were crucial to a friendship and it’s success.
Let me give you two examples that will make you understand this concept very well.
So I just moved and I started working for this company. I work in Finance this time, so a normal office job. We come in the morning, do our work, and leave again in the evening to return to our own life. Most of the people there are older then me, which I don’t mind, but it makes friendships harder. However, there are three girls around my age, which was a good place to start. So I start talking to them, getting to know them. We go out for lunch once, but that is it. We talk in the office or on the commute, but nothing more. This is not because we don’t want to, but because after two weeks, that is not the kind of friendship we have yet. At the moment we are just colleagues, and that’s fine. After beeing here for a couple of weeks or months,I formed a deeper friendship with one or two of them, and we started doing things together. But at the beginning we are just starting to learn about one another and see if this is even a friendship worth attempting.
On the other hand. when I was on board my cruise ship, I had a completely different experience. Yes, it is somewhat of a forced enviroment, but that doesn’t take away from the actual story. So about three weeks into my contract, my roommate left and I got a new one. She was about my age, and I was determined to hate her, because I was supposed to move in with another friend of mine. This girl never talked. Most of the time she was at work or sleeping. Then one day, she saw me reading Harry Potter and we got talking. Turns out we had so many things in common, it was actually kind of scary. After that we were best friends. We did everything together. You basically never saw us apart. This girl is now one of my best friends in the world and I could not imagine my life without her.
Basically what I’m trying to say is, don’t be discouraged. There will be days, where it all seems stupid and not worth it, and all you want to do is go back home. Don’t give up. Give it some time for everything to fall into place. And if after a year you still hate it, then leave. A year is not soo long, and will give you good experiences regardless, but more then that is not worth sacreficing for any dream, regaldless how much you thought it was the perfect thing for you. If you find out it’s not, let it go.
That’s all for today. I hope at least one of you who reads this will get the motivation they were looking for to keep going, wherever you are.
Update: I wanted to come to this post and let all of you know how much better it got. It took about three months after moving, but I started finding my group of people. Go do activities, find things you love to do, and just agree to invitations. If you need more tips on meeting people, you can check out my post here