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Thread: 6 weeks in, and a wee bit lonely

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    10

    Unhappy 6 weeks in, and a wee bit lonely

    Hello everyone!

    Just over 6 weeks ago, I left the UK and came to Christchurch, on a WHV for 12 months. I really love Christchurch ... despite the odd wee shake (or 100!), the problem lies in feeling settled, or part of NZ life. I moved over here on my own, with whatever I could cram into a rucksack. I primarily left the UK, as I had ended a 4 year relationship, and I was getting bored of UK life.

    I am relatively young still (mid 20's), and my main problem with being here is making friends. I am finding that kiwi's are very friendly .. just not your friend. If that makes sense. It is much harder to break into already established friendships/circles here.

    I am in a somewhat fortunate/unfortunate living situation. I live in an amazing house (nr Merivale), no earthquake damage, and with two girls who are very willing to explore and do things with. However, they are both a lot older (well ... mid to late 30's) and I just feel very much out of the loop and not on the same level.

    I have an amazing job (permanent, or for 12 months), but again everyone at work is much older (40's-50's), and so I don't do much socialising outside of work with them.

    I have been out a few times to various places, and enjoyed it, but I feel quite isolated.

    Maybe I've not given it enough time, but it feels a lot tougher to establish friendships than when I moved from Northern Ireland to England.

    Apologies for the rant. I couldn't have written it on my blog ... it screams homesickness, and my parents would have been on my case!

    Has anyone else experienced this, and how long did it take you to feel settled or a part of the community.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    71

    Default

    Hi there!
    At about that mark, I too hit a bit of a low that stuck around for a couple weeks. Just started to question everything. Hang in there, journal to help you express what you're feeling, thoughts are and goal set, get counselling/support even (reach out), and I found working out was really helpful as well. I agree, its easy to make acquaintances but harder to make friends. You have to take the initiative and be persistent. Then I started making a few closer friends which was great, and work situation got sweeter etc. :-)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Canterbury to UK
    Posts
    2,755

    Default

    Might be too old as in our 50's but give us a few weeks till our visitors have gone and we'd be up meeting for a coffee

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tauranga, Bay of Plenty
    Posts
    996

    Default

    Dont be afraid to make friends with the older generation they will probably have friends and relatives who have younger people around them. Just jump in and make the most of every day, the main thing is don't give up and yes be persistant you will get there in the end.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Te Aroha from N.Yorkshire UK
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Are you into fitness?? Think about starting something new and join a club that meet up regularly away. I have moved around so many times and found joining running clubs and exercise groups at the gym has helped me make some truly amazing people who have now become very good friends. I am 32 and my now very good friends range from 27-63 and I find they all give me something different when it comes to friendship!! I am still in UK but when we move over thats one way I will be hoping to meet people!!

    Another idea, what interests do you have?? Can you become a volunteer with a charity group or zoo as a way of meeting people?? Hope you feel settled soon and you find friendship. Thats the only thing that worries me is making friends but it will take time but IT WILL happen!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    3,697

    Default

    I think its quite normal to feel the way you are doing right now, in my little experience I started in a very similar way and felt totally out of place while sharing space, living with colleagues for shorter duration etc. At times OH was also in similar condition as I have uprooted our family many times to geographically new countries which were far different. Our DD found it very difficult to make friends at uni as she didn't meet people with similar interests/hobbies.

    Though OH & daughter have outgoing personality but they mix a lot of things to fill up the day like going to gym, attending dance classes, socializing with friends of friend, basically making network of friends & larger crowd. It would be good idea to take up some part time weekly course, develop new hobby, travel around NZ, some practical sports etc. I think you need friends of your age and that will sort out most of the challenges.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Wellington
    Posts
    894

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    Here in Wellington we have very active Meetup groups to cater to all kinds of interests and ages. I just did a quick search and there seems to be a few meetup groups in Christchurch: http://www.meetup.com/find/?keywords...ts=&allGroups=

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    was Oxford nr Chch, NZ now UK
    Posts
    1,288

    Default

    When we moved my 20 years old daughter came too. We lived rurally - Oxford, outside Chch. She worked but as you say they were work colleagues and friendly but no friends. She is a christian and joined a branch of her church and through them made some good friends who socialised well. Now back in the UK she is still in touch with them and has had offers to stay with them for holidays etc... Maybe joining something you have an interest in - not necessarily church like my daughter - will help you settle and get out more. Very difficult in a new place with a different culture and even more so when you are on your own. Good luck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    35,821

    Default

    Sorry to hear you're not feeling socially comfortable yet. Loads of good advice above, about following up or taking up an interest. Good luck.

    But please don't mentally rule out other age-groups as friends, as in that way you're cutting yourself off from whole sections of the population, and, as already said, the ones you first meet may have families/neighbours/other friends you'll get on with - if you don't give it a chance, you'll never know. Those 'a lot older' people (in their 30s, or *shriek* even 40s ) are just people, very like mid-20s are, whose terrible crime was to have been born sooner than you. And how would you feel if you were trying to include a newcomer, and all the time their eyes were looking PAST you for a better chance? Would you keep asking?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    San Francisco to Auckland
    Posts
    626

    Default

    There are many great suggestions already. Here are just a couple more ideas. When I moved to Montreal years ago I had to go way out of my comfort zone. I am not normally an outgoing person, but if I saw someone who looked interesting I would force myself to start a random conversation and tell them I was new to town and ask them if they would be interested in getting coffee etc. And I have to say, it totally worked. I "picked up" one of my best friends at a little cafe. The other way to meet people is to find a book club. ANd it is such an easy way to start a conversation with someone...."hey do you happen to belong to a book club? I am looking to join one....blah blah blah." Good luck and keep your head up.

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