May 22, 2012

Where To Find New Friends

One of our favourite aspects about travel is the people that we meet, be it a local or fellow tourists like us.  And sometimes friendships can be formed quite quickly and intensely.  We’ve met many people who we are lucky to call friends from previous travels, with these friendships surviving distance and in most cases language barriers too.  And now with email, Skype, Facebook and Twitter, it’s easier to keep in touch.

Yet as the XIV Dalai Lama put it, “We have been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour.”

As parents, you often encourage you kids to ‘make new friends’, but when was the last time you made a new friend?  People seem to be so busy with their own ‘worlds’ at home, content in their comfort zone.  Somehow making new friends seems like a low priority for most, perhaps even a strange thing to do.  This is definitely an aspect of being back home that we don’t love.

But something strange happened recently.  At a parent’s event at our pre-school, I struck up a conversation with a fellow parent.  We were both there alone and it turned out that we had a lot in common—a six-degree of separation sort of thing actually.  Surprisingly a few weeks later, he invited us over to his house for dinner with his family. 

This invitation was a first for us at home and as the date got closer, we started to feel a bit of apprehension. People just don’t seem to do this sort of thing, especially after only a single meeting.  It’s somehow just too risky and awkward.

But we love meeting new people and if we were traveling, we wouldn’t think twice about such an occasion.  In fact, it turned out to be a nice way to spend an evening with the adults and kids all getting along. 

This evening has inspired me to take more chances with making new friends.  Maybe we might seem weird, but then again, maybe we’ll inspire others to do the same. 

After all, we could all do with more friends, can’t we?


  1. Its so true! We dont even know our own Neighbours yet when we travel we get to say Hi to so many people that we wouldnt normally speak to :)
    Yet if we go somewhere our boys usually make friends within a few minutes! Love how kids are so friendly :)
    I like your new way of thinking!

    1. Actually, we find this tendancy within our society to be 'clichy' to be more pronounced whenever we return home from a trip. People who newly move between cities often notice this too when they are looking to make new friends. It's sad that somewhere beyond childhood, most people lose this ability/desire to want to make friends. Definitely the 'new way of thinking' entails doing something about it--time will tell, but being conscious of it is a start!

      Thanks for your comment :)