As recently as last November, when people asked “how do you like Vienna?” I’d sugarcoat it with “It’s a beautiful city…yada yada yada”, but what I really wanted to exclaim was how I just wanted to go home. There were many days in our first year that I had those thoughts. Around that time, my social life was almost non-existent. I had a few friends I had made through Hubs and the women’s organizations of the UN, but it was hard filling my days with activities and such. It was those days which made me miss my girlfriends back home. I was lucky that most of them lived within a one mile radius from our house, and it was easy to have impromptu popovers and what not.
In December, I did the unthinkable (to me) and joined some meetups and Facebook groups of Vienna. Why was it “unthinkable” you ask? I’ve never been the type of person to put myself out there. Those closest to me would say I’m pretty reserved and not open to large social situations. However, something snapped in me and I had to take charge of my (social) life. I was, and am, responsible for making the most of this situation. I couldn’t go on saying how much I disliked a place without giving it 100%. It also helped to have Hubs, close friends and family to cheer me on.
I was terrified and anxious about my first social experience with one of the groups I joined. I had no expectations. Period. I went to a Champagne tasting event, even though I don’t drink. I went purely for the social aspect of it. It proved to be the tipping point toward building a stronger foundation and outlook of my life here.
Realistically, I will probably never be chummy with the Viennese population. Now, with the friendships I’ve made with other expats- I’ve gotten to the point where I’m okay with that. Now that I’ve participated in a lot of the activities that these groups plan, my calendar is having a hard time keeping up with me.