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Personal experience: how to find friends in exile

Photos from personal archive

Suitcase-plane-America. The first weeks, and maybe months, you come to your senses and generally try to realize where you are, who you are and what is happening to you. The reasons why you were here are different for everyone. Someone had long dreamed of and, finally, decided to turn his life around. Someone met a loved one and realized that it was for him - more important than everything that happened before. Someone deliberately rode for a more prosperous life - if not for himself, then at least for the children. The reasons are different, but everyone who came to the US after 30, sooner or later will face something more terrible than the cultural adaptation, language barrier and job search. With loneliness.

There are tens of thousands of kilometers between you and your loved ones. The first time you fight. Even out of habit, you are going to drink wine with your friends - however, now via Skype. But every month it becomes less and less. Everyone has their own worries, and the time difference certainly does not contribute to the cohesion of relations at a distance. No, you still chat with them on social media and sometimes call. But Friday night, you're lonely as hell. And even if you come here with your family, sooner or later you will become lonely. Because there, in your homeland, you had not only a family. And here - no one else. And here you can go in two ways - say that "after 30 friends do not start" or still try to "start" them. I suggest the second.

Photos from personal archive

I arrived a year ago and at that time I knew a couple of people from the strength in New York. When I had the first shock of the move and some domestic issues were settled, I realized that I was lacking communication - just the opportunity to chat with someone in the evening, or go together somewhere on the weekend, or have a cup of coffee during the break. In general, of all that, I think, every adult has in his usual habitat. I realized that, sitting in my shell, I would never get it. And she began to look. Search for people who would be on the same wavelength with me. I am ready to share this search process, which brought quite good results. Maybe someone is useful.

So where can you meet new friends when you are behind 30.

Photos from personal archive

Job. Let's start with the available. Let it be trite, but, of course, colleagues can become your friends. Just do not think "yes who needs it." At first glance, it seems that those who live here for a long time certainly don’t need new acquaintances, but in reality, if you talk heart to heart with people, you often find the same suffering from loneliness. Therefore, look around in your new team - perhaps it will be possible to find friends among your colleagues. I invited my guests, we played board games, drank wine, celebrated Christmas together - and many of them I can now safely call friends. But you could just pass by, leaving our relationship only in the working framework.

Photos from personal archive

Groups of former compatriots. Social networks are full of groups of Russian-speaking emigrants and I highly recommend taking a look there. Firstly, there you can discuss all the difficult topics for new arrivals. And besides, it is a great resource for finding new friends. For example, in another lonely evening I asked in one of the groups: "and no one here plays board games?" (at home my friends and I fought almost every weekend). As a result, several people answered me, and one girl wrote: "I remembered how lonely I was at first, but come to us, we have fun." I went. And as a result, after a couple of weeks I went with the guys to celebrate the New Year and ski in Pocono.

Photos from personal archive

Hobby. Speaking of skiing. If you have a hobby, this is a direct way to find new acquaintances, and what's more, 100 is a guarantee that you will have something to talk about with new friends. In my case, these were hobbies skiing. I knew that there were ski slopes near New York, I really wanted to go for a drive, but the lack of a car and an understanding of where to go, and how all this was organized, inhibited. As a result, again in one of the Russian-speaking groups I wrote: I want it! Take someone with you. And after that went to ride already with new acquaintances.

Photos from personal archive

Places of study. Of course, most adults move to the United States with a certain luggage. I, alas, an exception - I taught French all my life, so English in my life came just a year before I flew to New York. And the first thing that had to be done here was to go to language courses. I specifically chose away from the Russian-speaking districts so that I would not have a chance to talk with classmates in Russian. As a result, my friends arsenal was replenished with children from other countries. I cannot say that we became friends - I was still hampered by the difference of cultures and the complexity of expressing thoughts in English (after all, friendship is the most important thing - heart-to-heart communication), but still this communication was useful, pleasant and brightened up winter evenings.

Photos from personal archive

Dating websites. Of course, if you have a spouse and a couple of children, this is hardly your way. But for those who are lonely, I would not advise to neglect them. Moreover, if you are not looking for a romantic relationship, you can indicate right in the status that your goal is exclusively friendship. Unlike dating sites in the post-Soviet space, where freaks and perverts abound, in America you can meet very decent people on these sites. Especially if you are 30+. After all, where at that age do people meet? It's not a tumultuous adolescence, with every party full of new faces. It's easy to find someone just as lonely on the site with whom you can chat over coffee or walk around the city. If he has lived here for a long time, he can show and tell a bunch of interesting things. And it is quite possible that this person will become your friend, in any case, it happened to me more than once. Moreover, thanks to one of these acquaintances, I got into a company with which I flew to Alaska in the summer - if someone had told me a year ago that this was possible, I would not have believed it.

Photos from personal archive

You can summarize all of the above - if you want to find new friends - look for. The hardest thing in this business is to overcome oneself - to become easier, easier to communicate, try not to worry, if it does not work out with someone - everything is simple, it means it was not your man. Believe me, it was very difficult for me to step over this. Too close people stayed at home. I looked around and thought, how could someone even replace me with them? Replace - no. Just occupy another niche - yes. But for this you need to work on yourself.

Photos from personal archive

The fact is that after 30, most of us are “stiff”. Usually, people have already formed a familiar life and a familiar circle of acquaintances, and we do not allow new people to come close to this age, because all the places are already taken. Not only that - we are becoming much more demanding of people. So, probably, the first thing to start with, if you want to make friends with someone in a new country - become tolerant. It was in our youth that we left our friends left and right, following our maximalism. Do not like it - goodbye! Now it is worth becoming a lot more cautious - after all, you will agree - and you are not a present, which means that everyone has the right to their quirks.

Photos from personal archive

New friends won't be easy. "Lapping" is inevitable and with age it becomes more and more difficult. Moreover, here it is superimposed on the general employment and fatigue. But if you take the risk, you will have someone to chat with over a cup of coffee, travel around America, ride bicycles, and you will find someone to call if you suddenly need help. “You’re not so badly settled, since you have someone to sit around the fire with,” one friend wrote to me on Facebook. And I agree with him.

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