Nearly a year ago, I wrote this post about how hard it can be to make friends as an adult. I don't just mean the 'you've turned 18 and can legally vote' type of adult, but the 'you have full time job and lots of responsibilities' type of adult. You have your core group of friends from childhood that have seen and supported you through thick and thin but what do you do when you don't live near them. What do you do when you're actually a long train trip or even a plane ride away?
Moving to Manchester a year ago I found myself in this situation. The only people I knew was my boyfriend and his best friend who had also moved here a few years earlier. I had no choice but to make it on my own. I had to through myself out there and find a few like minded souls interested in taking me under their friendship wing.
The obvious idea was to search for groups and communities of people with similar interests and hey presto, membership into the Manchester blogger community began which one day lead to the following tweet last July. "I'm so happy to have found another Irish blogger in Manchester!" - I may have squealed a little. A fellow Irish blogger was reaching out to me the way I had been trying to reach out to others. That tweet lead to a reply, which lead to more tweets which lead to private tweets and then, ultimately a few texts and then a meet up over the August bank holiday. Meeting initially on Twitter, my boyfriend was a tad wary, I even had to show the other persons blogger as proof she wasn't a cray cray murderer!
The tweeter and non cray, cray murderer in question, the lovely Breige (could she sound more Irish?) from Co.Clare from the blog A Rare Opal. Funnily enough, our reasons for coming to Manchester were crazy similar. We had both decided to move here due to our boyfriends being offered places on graduate schemes and we both moved over around the same time of year back in 2013, and we both found a little solace on the Manchester Blogger Facebook page.
Opting for the ever popular Sugar Junction, we met up and clicked straight away, chatting about the transition from Ireland to England, how it's impossible to get a decent bill paying phone (we have no UK credit history, so no one will give us a bill phone!), and the differences between Irish and British banter and humor in the workplace. FYI, even though Ireland is only a 40 minute flight away, the cultural differences can be very apparent (and funny!).
I think we both thought we would chat for about an hour or two but our conversation went on for a staggering six! Lots of coffee and cake was consumed and it felt more than great to properly connect with someone, to make a new friend and just have a chat and a laugh. Making friends as an adult in a new town or new country doesn't happen over night and it's certainly not always easy, but thankfully, a year on, thanks to my first UK job and blogging, I can add a few new lovely friends to my list.