How to create a social circle as a travel nurse

Here's how to make friends in a new city.

Moving to a different city on your own doesn’t mean you have to figure it out alone.

Travel nursing is an opportunity to have an adventure in each new city you visit. With 13 to 26 weeks in one place, it can feel like there isn’t enough time to explore all parts of your new home. And with hectic overnights and 12-hour shifts, how can you squeeze in time to build a social circle? Here are tips to help you find friends in your new home.

Tap into your artsy side

It’s amazing what kinds of groups and societies you can find in cities. Have you always wanted to try blues dancing? Crocheting? There’s likely a group – or several! – that meets during the week. One of the benefits of joining these groups is that they love sharing what they do. It’s okay if you can’t dance or stitch to save your life. Poke fun at yourself and use that as a conversation starter! Also be on the lookout for conferences or events – and say yes to attending: Accepting invitations can be a great way to meet new people. 

Reach out to your existing social network

We know that social ties are key when on the job hunt – but they can also make adjusting to a new city easier. As soon as your recruiter confirms your next city assignment, reach out to friends and friends of friends and ask if they can connect you to their circle.This can make touching down in a city you’ve never been to even more exhilarating – you have someone on the ground who can show you the best places in your new home. Another added benefit of making the most of your friends’ social connections? You immediately have a topic to discuss when you meet this new person.

Break a sweat – and keep going

Thank goodness for workout classes. They’re a great way to squeeze in a yoga session or a Zumba class while also being able to socialize before and after class. Greatist suggested finding a class you love and building it into your schedule so you can consistently attend. When you become a regular, you’ll have an easier time striking up conversation with a familiar face. In addition, having a routine can combat the craziness of moving to a new city. Arrive to class a few minutes early and chat with the teacher as you stretch before you begin.

Make yourself a regular at a fitness class to meet new people.Make yourself a regular at a fitness class to meet new people.

 

Everything in moderation

With such a short amount of time in one place, it’s easy to cram every day with activities. However, leaving a stressful shift at the hospital and not giving yourself any downtime to decompress could be the fastest way to make sure you finish your assignment burned out in desperate need of a vacation. Take some time to relax – whether it’s reading for an hour after work or taking a day to explore the city on your own for some much-needed rest and relaxation. Still want to be social? Invite a friend to join for a hike or a quiet day crafting. The more relaxed vibe may give you the chance to forge a deeper friendship.

Moving to a different city on your own doesn’t mean you have to figure it out alone. With social media and groups always welcoming new members, you can find plenty of opportunities to meet people. Use these tips to make the most of your time in a new city. Who knows – you may just make another close friend and fall in love with your new home!