One of the many highlights of moving to Atlanta has been going to events with my travel group that I met through the online Meetup site. Anyone of you who know me, know that I am pretty much a creature of habit and some of that is due in part to aging and being comfortable in a safe zone. We become very comfortable functioning in our routines. But having moved to a new city, has challenged me in ways outside of my comfort zone.
When I moved to Atlanta, I was pretty much at ground zero in starting anew with a social life. While I do a lot of hanging out with family and being with my granddaughter, finding a base to interact with peers presented a challenge. I love being with my family and my son and daughter-in-law have been wonderful in including me in with a great deal of their social activities. But let’s face it…I am 65 years old. We have different likes, different things that we feel are fun, and while we get along beautifully, there are times when I feel every bit of 65 and I want to slow the pace and be with peers. So how does one begin the process of building a social life when you are new to a place? And how do you do it within the confines of your comfort zone?
I have been aware of the Meetup online site for awhile now. And I wanted to find ways to get to know the Atlanta area with others who are seeking the same thing, so I sought out groups with similar interests. I also keep my grand-daughter through the week, so whatever I chose to do had to be short and quick, and usually on the weekend. I found a group called “The Secret Get Out of Atlanta Travel Group and they plan day trips for those of us called “Day Trippers, and extended trips for another part of the group called “The Elite Travelers”. Long story short is…for the past 3 months I have joined the group in several outing and have met some wonderful, kind, fun and exciting people who just want to have fun. The group was very inclusive and well organized; two important criteria for me. Back in October, one of my blog posts was about our outing to a music festival in Greenville, South Carolina.
This past weekend, we had our Christmas Linner Celebration ( Linner=Lunch + Dinner). I believe about 75 of us met at a restaurant and dined and had a great time with good food, an ugly Christmas Sweater contest and a White Elephant gift exchange. The night before, some of them met for Karaoke and dinner. I chose not to attend that event. One of the newer members of the group is one of my good friends, now living in Atlanta, who grew up next door to me back in Illinois. We have known each other since we were seven years old. She saw my photos, from a past blog and decided to join the group which has delighted me. The group has an upcoming anniversary party in January and a trip to Sapelo Island, off the coast of Savannah in February. So fun times to look forward to.
The fun part of this group is, you can pick and choose the events you want to attend. I look forward to many outings in 2018. I encourage you, whatever city you are in, to check out the Meetup site. Find some groups that might appeal to your interests and make 2018 a year where you step out of your routine and hook up with fun people who have similar likes and interests. I know I am glad I did. Look for additional blog postings in 2018 with additional tips on tips on how we seniors can start anew in a new location to build a social life in fun and exciting ways.