One of the hardest things about moving abroad is leaving your girls! And not to gloat, but I have kickass girfriends.
Meeting good girlfriends after the age of 25, in my opinion, is not easy. Add in the “I’m not from around here” sign tattooed on my forehead and it makes it even trickier. So what does a girl do when she packs up her whole life and moves to a far away land and can’t convince her bests to do the same? She goes into survival mode. Here are some tips I have learned on making new friends in the UK, while not losing touch with my friends back home.
Girl dates- You have to do them and they sometimes really suck because: (1) you are constantly comparing them to your awesome friends back home, (2) you have to be really nice and smiley until they get to know you better, (3) some girls are just plain boring. But I have discovered, out of every few girl dates, there will be at least one who understands how important wine is in life.
Legally Blonde- Most girls in the UK are obsessed with sororities because they don’t have them. It’s kind of like Americans with castles. It’s a great conversation starter if you are a sorority girl. They want to know if it’s like the movies and at first you deny it, but then you start telling stories and realize you were actually Elle Woods and the best time of your life is over. Something to deal with later, but hey, hopefully you made a new friend.
Drinking- If you have moved to the UK and don’t drink, you should go back home. This place loves their booze. And not in an obnoxious way, ok sometimes in an obnoxious way. They just really enjoy being social with a cocktail or pint in hand and I suggest getting on board!
The British are coming- Don’t fight it, you are surrounded. Embrace the culture and the fact that the majority of Brits think they are way better than everyone else in the world. Especially Americans! Just grin and bear it when meeting new friends and remind yourself how big and powerful the US became in about a fifth of the time the UK did.
Mexican food- If your new Scottish friends try to take you to get Mexican food, run fast. They clearly don’t have your best interest at heart because Mexican food in Scotland is horrific.
American girl- I love my British friends, but I have learned that you really need at least one fellow American that you can complain to about the weather, driving on the left side of the road and why the Brits can’t figure out the difference between a biscuit and a cookie!
Now as you are making your new friends, you can’t forget about your friends back home. Here are some tips to make sure they cry everyday you are away from them.
Social- I love posting pics of me with my new friends on social media because it immediately gains me a message from my friends back home asking who those bitches are in the photo with me. Makes me feel loved.
World Traveler- I love sharing my European adventures with my friends. Sending simple texts like “Headed to Milan for the weekend! #sucker” makes them miss me even more.
Technology- Thank you WhatsApp for coming up with a new version of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM for those of you cool enough or old enough to have had a BlackBerry) that for some reason everyone in the world now thinks is cool and, therefore, allows me to stalk my friends back home and know exactly when my messages have been read.
Snail mail- I’m a big believer in cards. I think they are just enough of a little something to make you feel special. And even though I live in BFE I still send cards to my friends back home and encourage they do the same. Always subtly, of course, like right now writing about how much I like cards sent to me.
Being away from my girls is definitely hard, but I am super lucky to have my Scottish lassies and happy they have me. Who else is going to teach them that being a sorority girl actually gained me friends for life, that queso shouldn’t taste that way and stop calling me a Yank, I’m from Florida.
Gus Gus is back and now I have those ultrasonic wave plug-ins in every room possible, including two in our bedroom on either side of the bed so I feel safe. Really happy we decided to move into a flat built in the 1800s.