Loneliness and location
November 5, 2009 8:26 AM Subscribe
I'm heading back to the work world after studying abroad, and want to overcome my long-standing social isolation. Where should I move to?
posted by anonymous to human relations (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm 27, and finishing a masters degree at a university in Sweden. Between this and my prior experience in the software industry, my career is in great shape. But my social life is not. I'm lucky enough to have kept close friends from high school, but have struggled to make new ones since then. This also carries over to dating: my only sexual experience was a fling with an old friend a couple years back. The thought of this continuing indefinitely is scary but all too realistic.
Soon I need to start applying for programming jobs, and I'd like to do it with the above in mind. I'm a U.S. citizen from the Northeast, but I also traveled around Northern Europe (Scandinavia, Holland, Ireland, …) during my studies and wouldn't mind living there either. (I'm aware of the issues with getting work permits.) But the couple friends I do have here are also foreign students, and even outgoing expats say Swedes are hard to get to know. I'm afraid that even in an English-speaking country this could be the case for a foreigner. Are there expat MeFites that have experience with this? I prefer some aspects of the culture here, but it's no fun to live anyplace as a perpetual outsider.
If I do go back to the U.S., are some cities friendlier than others? Of course I realize that solving my problems involves hard work, personal change, and probably some form of therapy. But I don't want to sabotage my efforts either. Cities with good food, public transit, a decent music scene, and not overly conservative would be nice too.