One of the best ways to quickly settle into a new location (or back into an old location) is to make friends, but finding a group of like-minded individuals can sometimes be difficult. Back in September I mentioned a networking site for expats called InterNations. It was founded by three young German entrepreneurs and has been online since September 2007. Their membership is growing at the rate of 5,000 a month and total numbers are now over 140,000.
As I said before it’s a social networking site, a bit more formal than Facebook, not as business focussed as LinkedIn, but what makes it unique are the real world get-togethers now organized in 100 locations worldwide. These are great opportunities, not only for those who are new in town or passing through, but also those who realize they are “forever expats” and want to meet fellow global nomads. As I renew old friendships and make new ones in Canada I find that most of the people I “click” with are former expatriates or immigrants, but they’re not always easy to locate when you’re new in town.
Membership of InterNations is by invitation only and perhaps that accounts for the high quality of the discussions on both the local and international forums. My one gripe is that it’s necessary to upgrade to a paid account in order to upload a contacts file so I’m finding it hard to locate people I know who are already members. Anyone out there who is already a member or would like to join? Please get in touch – you can find me on Twitter or through my About me page.