One of the most treasured pieces of most people’s life is their relationships in their personal life. It already gets harder as we age to build and maintain friendships. But, how do you cope when you’re far from your home and in a new place with no previously existing social community? There’s a lot you can do to make some lasting impressions and meet some people you’ll never forget while on a travel physician assignment. Here are a few guidelines to help in being social in a new city.
- Make New Friends, but Keep the Old– Firstly, it’s crucial to keep in touch with your group of friends even when there’s distance between you. It can be as simple as sending them an email once a week, posting on their Facebook, or snapchatting them a video of something cool you stumbled across in your new city. Keep them posted on little tidbits of your life! It’s a simple way to maintain these friendships for when you return and let your friends know you’re thinking of them. Also, it can make you feel more social without spending too much time or effort in the process. Skyping, FaceTime, and other video chat applications can also keep you in touch with friends and family at home from any mobile device. Being social in a new city doesn’t mean you have to forget about old friends.
- Be Open!-Stepping out of your comfort zone can be hard for those who have a naturally introverted personality. However, getting over the fear of rejection is a huge step in being social in a new city. Put it into perspective and adopt a new mantra like, “what’s the worst thing I can lose by putting myself out there?” Usually, the answer is “nothing.” Also, don’t try too hard to find clones of yourself. Making friends with people that aren’t exactly 100% like-minded can be really enriching and gives way more opportunity to try new, exciting things (and to learn a lot, too.) I couldn’t even tell you the things you can learn from making friends and acquaintances with an eclectic group of people. You really seldom regret it.
- Join Something- Sure, it’s a little cheesy, but organizations are an excellent way of meeting friends. Not only is joining a Zumba class, attending a yoga studio, enrolling in a book club, gym, etc. rewarding, but it also offers a great chance to meet new people. Before you know it you’ll have a new bunch of people that can show you around your new location and show you the ropes.
- Explore On Your Own- Being in a new place offers so much for you to see and even if you have to check out some restaurants as a “party of one”, you’ll probably be able to start conversations with locals easier than you’d expect. People can be really friendly and sometimes it takes having some independent wandering to really be able to meet new people.
It’s important to fill your life with social relationships but while on travel Locum assignments, you’ll already be around people all day; helping others and gaining valuable acquaintances.