When I entered this phrase into Google, the first result I got was a dating website. Now, I’m not that desperate.
I’ve done it a few times: moved to a new city, one would think that I know how to make friends and where to find them. Well, the opposite is true, I’m, by no means a master and it’s proving itself now in Yangon. While I can try to replicate my experiences from other countries, I no longer live this life where I would I would meet a lot of people in a similar situation.
I am no longer a student starting an exchange semester with people from all over the world doing just the same.
I am no longer a backpacker hanging out in hostels full of backpackers ready to join me on a trip somewhere, anywhere.
I am no longer an intern among dozens of other interns exploring a new city we all ended up together.
I am no longer an aspiring climber who wants to improve her skills and learn from others in the city’s climbing hall (also there is no climbing hall in Yangon, yet).
I am now a working freelancer, without a proper office, spending time in Yangon’s cafés. But since the café culture is far away from that in the West I hardly see other freelancers doing the same. However I can recommend some nice cafés in town 🙂
Getting out there again
I have found one common feature of all my beginnings: getting myself involved in everything possible until I find something or someone I will stick to (or until I run out of all my options). Opening myself to new things is normal for me since I am naturally curious about life around me – and life is just so interesting in Myanmar. That’s the easy part. Harder is to make a connection that will last while doing it.
So I’ve become a member of Yangon Internations group, Yangon Expats Connection, I’ve started a language course… Oh yes, it is a bit difficult to know what’s going on in the city given that I am not on Facebook. Everything seems to be happening there. Having made my mind about not joining Facebook again, no wonder I am not updated about Yangon’s social scene. But I am convinced, life IS happening outside of Facebook, and while it might take me more time to connect and find friends, I still hope it is not impossible.
Just to be clear, I am not complaining – how could I? My own choices led me to the life I am living now and I am not turning back from it. I enjoy living in Yangon, I love exploring the city, talking to strangers and trying food (the food, oh, the food) from street stalls. Coming back from a life-shaping trip in the Himalayas, where I’d met the most awesome people I could wish meeting make this transition somehow harder. I guess I just expected it to be easier to find like-minded people around me here as well. But it doesn’t work like that.
In any case, this is a challenge I am taking on in the old-fashioned way before the social media age. I vow to go out there, talk to people and make real connections. To overcome my introverted personality and extrovertedly reach out to strangers. Hawk.