You think you’ve got the whole moving abroad and meeting people thing down, but then you go to a new place and you have to rethink your tactics. That’s what I found with Playa Del Carmen, anyway.
In Lyon, MeetUp was the way to go about finding expats and, hopefully, friends. It worked a treat. I found everything from my favourite Pilates teacher ever to some of my closest friends through the MeetUp app. But when I checked it for what was going on here, there was nothing!
Since then, I’ve realised that Playa communicates via Facebook for EVERYTHING. Your favourite taco place probably doesn’t have a website, but they do have a Facebook page. Yoga classes, bike shops, language schools are all the same story. This might seem super obvious to some people but I’m not used to communicating with complete strangers on Facebook. Sure I’m a member of some travel groups that provide motivation and inspo but making friends? nah. Facebook is generally reserved for keeping in touch with family and friends.
Luckily for me, someone did point out that joining basically any and every Playa related group was the best thing I could do. So I did. Even the one’s talking about leading an active lifestyle. Luckily they can’t actually check that before they accept you. I did, however, find a group that centred on a subject close to my heart: Playa Del Carmen Ladies Wine Nights.
In the past couple of weeks I’ve gone from knowing no-one outside of my boyfriend’s social circle to leaving him at home while I go drink at beach bars. It always surprises me the variety of women you can get to sit at one table for hours on end as long as there’s wine there. We’re an eclectic bunch to say the least.
Americans, Canadians and now 2 Brits (represent) we probably have a 20 years + age range but it never seems to matter. Put a load of fermented grape juice, a bunch of women who have chosen to up sticks and move around a little bit and you have an instant support group of ballsy, tipsy women.
Things I’ve learned about making girl friends in Playa:
- Swallow your pride and use all forms of social media to beg for friends
- Alcohol is the gateway to friendship
- Say yes to any and every suggestion made
- If someone cries after a litre of wine, it’s only a good thing
- Finding people who are in the same situation as you is the easiest way to preserve your sanity
- No matter how much I want friends, I still won’t sing karaoke