When you first move to a different country to live, everything is exciting, unknown and full of adventure. In your mind, you see that you will find a great job, make lots of new friends and travel all over this new country you have moved to. For a time, everything is going great, until it’s not. You realise that you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the new brands and services, disorientated while you try to navigate your new surroundings and lonely and isolated because you’re struggling to make connections like you had back home.
Making friends as an adult, let alone making friends in a whole new country can be very hard, especially if you are a little quieter or suffer from social anxiety. You can try and go to meet-ups to find new friends, but most of the time these are in loud bars with everyone moving from person to person, so no real connection can be made. Other ways you might have tried are friend-making apps or Facebook groups, where you basically invite a stranger for a drink. This way can feel very awkward, or it could be a great catch-up but then you struggle to find the motivation or good reason to reach out and meet up again.
It takes time to build good connections with people and they don’t just happen overnight! So, even if you do meet again, it feels like you are still strangers keeping up the small talk, wishing you had those shared experiences and memories to make everything feel more natural. Or maybe you get invited to a party by a work colleague but the rest of their friends make it really hard for you to feel included in their group, talking about things, people and events you have no idea about. All the effort and failed attempts can at times make you feel lonely and depressed. For we all need those close people around us, to make us feel seen, heard, and understood. People you can rely on and know that if you needed help, they would do anything they could to be there for you.
So, is there any easy way to find your people in a new country?
Imagine joining an adventure game around the city you have just moved to with 5 other expats who are in the exact same position as you. During this adventure, you start to get to know each other as you work together to solve clues, taking you around the best places for fun activities, teaching you practical settling in advice and giving you the local knowledge that would normally take you years to learn. You bond over a shared goal of beating the other teams for the grand prize, and whether you win or lose, you’ve shared that experience with them. Then once you finish the adventure, you’d meet up once a week doing different activities in and around your new city, with a shared goal of completing an 8-week challenge of consecutively hanging out on a weekly basis. Within those 8 weeks, you start to bond over your trials and tribulations of moving to a new country, comparing the highs and lows and sharing cool things you’ve found out. You’d feel supported as you are in the same situation, and you’d start to trust this group of people and feel a connection to them. Making you feel comfortable enough to call them your friends.
Well, that’s exactly what the team at TribeUpp have created for you; we call it The Expat Game Experience.
We know the struggle of finding people you can call friends as an expat, AND as an adult. That’s why the Expat Game is created with this in mind. The science behind making friends is actually very simple, you need to see someone repetitively, and have multiple conversations to build trust, which leads to becoming friends. That’s it. But it is the repetitiveness that is the hardest thing to accomplish as an adult seeking new connections. That’s why most people have friends from school, work or a shared activity. Have a think about the closest friends you currently have or have had in the past. When you first met them, if you didn’t see and speak to them repetitively, would you still be friends? Probably not. Sometimes you don’t find out how amazing some people are until you’re forced to spend time with each other again and again. At TribeUpp, we wanted to recreate this environment in a fun way, that was also helpful for other challenges you have when first arriving as an expat here. Our not so secret ingredient, is the 7 week Whanau challenge, where we help you foster relationships with your team for 7 weeks after you went on your initial adventure together. This takes out the stress of having to wonder who should message who and why you should meet. We hope it also takes the anxiety out of putting yourself out there.
At TribeUpp, we believe that everyone should feel seen, heard and understood by a group of people they can call friends. It is our hope that we can not only help expats, but soon help everyone who has gone through a major life change or is needing a fresh start, make new friends and regain those strong connections. Creating a fun-filled, natural way to make friends, is how we plan to help people in every city around the world, because nobody should have to face life’s challenges alone.