37. Make Friends! (Join Meetup.com)
So, I probably should have made this the very first post in this series because without Meetup.com, I would hardly know anybody down here in Texas. It’s not easy to move all the way across the country by yourself. It’s even harder when you’re not a kid anymore and you don’t have that automatic social circle of college life built in to your move. In my case, I was also trying to figure out my next career move when I got here, so the only workplace pals I had were canine and feline, not human. Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE animals! But, even the most introverted among us still need that human connection once in a while, right? ;P
So, if you’re gonna be bold and make a big move, you need to be a social butterfly…even if you’re not one. I’m kind of a homebody at heart. I have fun once I am out but getting myself out the door is the challenge. Can you relate?
Luckily, the internet has made it ALOT easier to be sociable these days! There are several sites out there designed to help like minded people find each other…I am focusing mainly on adult friendships here more so than dating (but Meetup does have lots of those groups, too). My personal favorite site is Meetup.com. It’s so simple to use and, best of all, it’s free! You just pop in your zip code and you can either look at every group that is available in your area or you can filter by your interests.
There are Meetup groups for just about everything you can think of…Happy Hours, Business Networking, Sports Teams (playing or watching), Hiking, Pet Play Dates, Dining, Game Nights, Travel, and on and on. I am in several awesome groups including a die hard Chicago sports fans group, several photography groups, a musicians jam session group, and girlfriends group.
Because of ‘Meetup’, I have made many Wonderful friends here in Texas that I will definitely carry with me in my heart forever…no matter where I may roam. Love my Chicago Sports Peeps So Much!! I have to give a shout out to Michael Fioretti who runs the Austin Chicago Sports Watch Parties. Thanks, Mike, for everything you do!
Meetup offers the chance to explore new interests and learn so much from other people in the groups…not to mention those lasting friendships you will make! My latest interest is photography and the groups I am part of give me lots of chances to get out there and practice, learn, and have fun.
But, back to You! Maybe you’re into Soap Making, Comedy Clubs, Live Music Outings, or Salsa Dancing. Chances are, there’s already a group out there waiting for you. But, if you don’t see something that interests you, you can always start your own group. Starting your own group is not cheap (about $90 twice a year). But, it pays off in dividends because, trust me, you will meet so many great folks and have tons of worthwhile experiences!
Here I am with some of my Amazing Girlfriends that I would not know if it weren’t for Meetup.com…
Here are some shots from just a few of the many fun things my Meetup friends and I have done in the last couple of years!
All that…and plenty of eating and drinking, of course!!!
As you have probably figured out by now, I can’t say enough good things about Meetup.com…and nope, they are not paying me a dime for this! The site has just been that important to my life in Texas! So, I thought it was high time to give them the ‘props’ they deserve…and to try to get the word out to as many people as possible.
Cute gift idea to give your friends…
If you are new to the Austin area (or any area, really!), do yourself a favor and check out Meetup.com. Their slogan is ‘Find Your People’ and their brilliant site makes it so easy to do. You really can’t go wrong just giving it a try! What have you got to lose?