Moving anywhere new can be daunting, let alone to the other side of the world! Luckily the Irish hospitality is world famous, creating a warm and friendly environment. It all stems from an ancient Irish folk law stating it was bad luck to turn away a stranger. So you can expect a friendly smile and a welcoming attitude from your neighbours and colleagues!
However, anyone who has moved overseas, or even interstate, knows that even in the most-friendly environments, making friends can often be a challenge. Here are our top tips for making friends in Ireland:
• Give yourself a good 3 – 6 months before you feel like you’ve settled in. During this time, you’ll discover how independent you can be, and you’ll be able to find the people and socials scenes that suit you just right.
• Say yes to every invitation. Whether it be a crazy night out, a chilled drink at the pub or just a walk in the park, if someone invites you somewhere, say yes. You may not enjoy that particular activity but it will help you build a friendship and then you can choose the next activity!
• You’ve just moved halfway across the world – harness that bravery and put yourself out there! The Irish are very friendly, but you’ll need to be open to meeting people. So say hi to someone new in the tea room, join a local sporting team, volunteer at your local community group. Whatever your hobby is, find a group that does it, and do it with them.
• Join the “MeetUp App”. It’s a free app with a number of groups that suit all personality types and interests. Our recommendation is the “Girls Gone International” group.
• Bumble BFF. It’s not just a dating site! Lots of expats use this as a way to connect with people and build up friendships.
• Facebook has a lot of groups for expats in Ireland. There’s even one specifically for Aussies and Kiwis in Ireland!
• Check out Girlcrew.com, it’s an online platform that helps women find friends in their local area. The site started in Dublin but now is used globally.
• For those who prefer more “me time”, Ireland is ideal as the towns, attractions and shopping are easily accessed by foot or public transport and it’s safe. Driving is a breeze, similar to New Zealand or cities like Brisbane and Perth. You will enjoy a balance of doing your own thing plus spending time with new found friends.
• Like any relationship, you need to put in the effort to make friendships and it does take time – it’s almost like dating! You have to follow up with a phone call after the first coffee date. But if you put yourself out there, it’s worth it and you’ll soon have a friend for life!