Now, I realize that many of you either haven’t ever heard of Couchsurfing.org or if you have you think I am crazy to even suggest it. I don’t really expect you to spend the night in a stranger’s home (although I would). Couchsurfing offers much more than an overnight stay. There are community activities and there are many people who will simply meet you for coffee or give you a mini-tour of their city. It’s a great way to make a connection in a new city. Couchsurfing does request that you be willing to ‘give back’ to the community. So, make a profile and offer a coffee meeting or a mini-tour in your home city.
Meetup.com is a great group that I have utilized in several cities. There are Meetup groups all over the world. If you have a hobby, an interest or an activity that you enjoy; Meetup has a group for it. Meetup has groups ranging from hiking to game-nights, scrap booking, happy hour, and even dining groups. Meetup is NOT a dating service or a singles group. It’s comprised of all sorts of people from young to old, single to married, even groups for children (with parents), or those with pets.
Meetup helped me think outside of my normal interests and activities.
I had the best time of my life when (through meet-up), I discovered that I really do enjoy contemporary art. Meetup helped me think outside of my normal interests and activities. I joined in on several activities of things that I wouldn’t have normally explored; some of them I found that I enjoyed and some, not. The point is; Meetup delivers a way to explore your temporary home and potentially make some personal connections as well.
Join your home YMCA. I did another article on Get Moving and Keep Moving that talks about the YMCA AWAY program. Check with you local chapter and find out the details.
If you’re not a theater, dance or concert lover; I understand. I wasn’t either….until I found Goldstar.com. Goldstar is a discount website for local events; some are even FREE. See what’s going on when your off work and get two tickets. Ask around at work if anyone wants to join you. You’re likely to find someone who would love to go. Either offer them the ticket free for a trade (if they will drive or buy coffee after), for free, or for face value. Even if you can’t convince anyone to go with you…..GO ANYWAY. You may be surprised to find out what you enjoy if you step out of the box.
Grub With New Friends
A fun new group that I have ran across is GrubWithUs.com. This group is in many cities through the US and Internationally as well. It is just growing so if your city isn’t listed, check back or suggest it yourself. Grub with us is a way to meet others over a dinner. Do you want to go to dinner and hate to go alone? Have a new place that you want to check out and want some company? Check out Grubwithus and see if anyone else is interested in joining you. I haven’t tried the service yet but I think it sounds like a ton of fun.
Take a tour
Most cities have some sort of tours going on. Find out what they are and join them. BE a tourist. Your traveling (hopefully) not just for the pay but to explore this great country of ours so get out there and explore. There are many free tours in some of the larger cities. A great place to start is the local Convention and Visitors Bureau. Another place that I have found tours is Goldstar.com . This is also a great way to meet new people who although may not be nurses….share a common interest of traveling. If there is someone who you connect with during the tour; take the step and invite them for a drink or dinner afterward. I toured the Cultural Center in Chicago and had a wonderful time.
Most cities have some sort of tours going on. Find out what they are and join them. BE a tourist. Your traveling (hopefully) not just for the pay but to explore…
Take a class
There are many places that offer classes; from the local library to the ceramic shop around the corner or the local community college. Find out what’s being offered and join something. For a small cost you can learn a new skill, increase that foreign language or add credits toward your next degree. In addition to academics, there are classes all over for fitness activities. Maybe your interested in yoga, tennis, or even karate? Check around and see what you can find.
In summary, there are many things to keep you active, fit and entertained if you look for them. Even the smallest towns have some sort of activities going on.
What has been the most unusual activity that you’ve joined? Did you enjoy it? Would you do it again? Are there support groups that you would recommend? Please join the conversation in the comments below and share your thoughts.
If you take a chance and try out the suggestions above, let me know what your experience was. I would love to hear your results.