It's even difficult to explore a new city. In Boston, where museums, galleries, shops, and restaurants are closed or have limited hours, Ms. Choudhary hasn't found any of those favorite places to feel at home. "It's a beautiful city. You can drive past the harbor, you can walk. There are open spaces," she said. But apart from the grocery store, she has no rituals yet. "Where are the cool places? If I can would ever visit a friend, where would I take him? I don't know. "
Ms. Nelson, who moved to Napa from San Francisco in October, suggests doubling up on social media at least for now. Announce your upcoming move on your social platforms and ask friends to introduce you to people they may know in your new city. Join local Facebook groups in your new community and take part in the forums. Look for friends in apps like Bumble BFF. Look for meetings for walking, cycling, or jogging.
Or, you could make a general reputation on social media like Eliza Petersen did. In October, the unlikely TikTok influencer, best known for her viral video of God and an angel speaking about the death of the dinosaurs, offered her 300,000 followers a heartfelt request, telling them that they would do it after they moved in a new house in a new neighborhood was "I have big problems feeling very isolated and it just gets a little too hard to deal with." Offer of a P.O. Box address near Salt Lake City as a way to connect offline, she said, "If someone wants to be friends, even a virtual friend, we can write letters, exchange recipes or come up with ideas or talk about dinosaurs."
Moving to a new place makes it easy to feel like you're outside. Joe Esposito, 40, was standing with his girlfriend Laura Snell, 35, on Abbot Kinney Boulevard near Venice Beach in Los Angeles shortly afterwards. TV stations announced that Joe Biden had won the election. The street had a festive block party vibe as the locals celebrated the news. But the moment felt wistful for the couple, who have lived in town since July. You wanted to participate, but how?
"We were out in town and people were partying and we didn't know anyone watching that," said Mr. Esposito, a content strategist for a bank who had lived in the New York City area all his life drive his girlfriend across the country. Ms. Snell, a distant teacher and actress, was originally from Southern California but hadn't lived in the state in a decade.
As difficult as it may be to meet new people during this pandemic, Miriam Kirmayer, a clinical psychologist and friendship expert, points out that finding friends right now has an upside: a lot of people feel pretty lonely.
"People are more open to the experience of loneliness and are more aware and open of their desire for new connections," she said. This could be a time to "stand up there and be transparent about our desire to make new connections".