How not to be lonely in your new retirement destination

How not to be lonely in your new retirement destination

How not to be lonely in your new retirement destination

Deciding to retire overseas can be challenging, especially for single would-be expats.

As tempting as the thought of retirement in the sun may be, many older would-be expats are put off by the thought of being friendless in an unfamiliar land, thus depriving themselves of the experience of a lifetime. It’s harder for single women than it is for their male equivalents, but both sexes can find new friends and enjoy new activities once they’re part of the local expat community.

Obviously, the move itself takes planning and patience, especially if there’s a property to be sold and unwanted possessions to dispose of. Once that’s done, necessities including visas, finding accommodation in advance of your arrival and arranging banking facilities take planning skills but rarely become insurmountable obstacles. On arrival, you’ll need several weeks to get settled before you venture into the expat community and begin your new life.

Unless you’re moving to the back of beyond, you’ll likely have a ready-made expat community in your chosen area, with meetings, interest groups and social events up, running and ready to welcome newcomers. Unless you’re a total extrovert, you’re likely to feel the usual nervousness caused by walking into a room full of strangers, but you’ll need to remember all of them felt the same when they first arrived!

For ladies who love to lunch, there’s usually a club which meets at selected venues on a weekly or fortnightly basis, giving a welcoming start to your search for new friends. In addition, most expat clubs have activity groups covering everything from reading, dining out, walking, volunteering and much more. A healthy way to meet new friends is to join a local gym, preferably one with a health spa attached and regular fitness classes. It doesn’t matter if you’re not an exercise freak, as the spa is also a good place to meet like-minded souls and build up friendships.

Volunteering doesn’t just help others as it can also help you to make long-lasting friends who care about the causes they support. It may well also bring you into contact with local people, broadening your understanding of the culture of your chosen country.

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