Jo Goddard from A Cup of Jo has started a new Motherhood Around The World series this summer. And the first country to feature this time around is England, so I was especially interested to read it. making friends as an expat
I found the part on language fascinating and a little surprising, probably because I have a lot of US friends here and so I use the British and American words associated with childhood interchangeably (also because I find that many Swedes use the American rather than British words when they speak English).
What really struck me, however, was the part about making friends in England. What Erin describes is what I have encountered in both Denmark and Sweden: that it is hard to get beyond the first stages of small talk and actually get down to being friends with people. And yet when I lived in England, I found making friends so very easy. My colleagues and I would pop out to pub at least one day a week after work and those colleagues quickly became friends, or you’d meet up with their partners’ colleagues and go out or their friends’ friends, or your ex’s cousin’s friends and so on. The options for making friends seemed endless.
Which leads me to think that it is not so much something associated with a particular country – England, Denmark, Sweden or anywhere else – but just with being an expat. By not being from that country, you are immediately marked as something of an outsider, making it harder to make friends with the “natives”, so to speak.
And add children into the equation and you are left with an easier way to meet people but the harder task of finding time to see these newly found friends.
What do you think? Are some countries just more difficult to make friends in? Or is it just the way when making friends as an expat; a case of “not them but you”?
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