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How to Make Friends and Meet New People With Common Interests:Attend a Free Meetup

Updated on September 19, 2013

Are you familiar with Eat, Laugh and Be Merry, Stitch N' Bitch, Sole Sisters, Kick-Ass Ladies of Connecticut, Healing Drum Circle at No Place Like OM or Adventures in Healthy Eating? These are just a few of the Connecticut meetups focused on health and well-being, community and environment, hobbies & crafts, fitness, games, and so many other areas of interest. With so many to choose from, I couldn't resist checking out one of the raw foods meetups to keep me motivated to build my bionic immune system.

The salad with green onion dressing that I brought to a raw foods meetup. So happy that it was completely gone by the end of the evening.
The salad with green onion dressing that I brought to a raw foods meetup. So happy that it was completely gone by the end of the evening. | Source
Get in shape and meet new friends at a bicycling meetup.
Get in shape and meet new friends at a bicycling meetup. | Source

Have you ever attended a meetup?

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What is a Meetup?

A meetup is a gathering of people that share a common interest or similar goals. Most of them are either free or require a nominal fee to cover expenses. I have a strong interest in maintaining and improving my healthy lifestyle, and I have found many meetups that can help me in my goals, on subjects such as meditation, healing, self-empowerment and fitness. Each category has numerous subcategories. For example, 'nutrition' not only has raw foods, vegan and vegetarian groups; but also groups focused on organic fruits and vegetables and grass-fed and pastured meats.

Benefits of Attending a Meetup

There is such a broad range of interests represented by the various meetups that you are guaranteed to find one that will fascinate you. The benefits are endless:

  • Meet new friends with common interests.
  • Improve your health by learning how to cook healthier meals or juicing
  • Provide social support
  • Learn stress relief techniques such as laughter, yoga, and meditation
  • Meet a potential significant other during one of the many singles meetups
  • Find employment through a networking meetup
  • Exercise through a hiking or ultimate Frisbee meetup
  • Learn a new skill through a scrapbooking or knitting meetup
  • Exercise your mind through a philosophy meetup
  • Change the world in a political or environmental meetup
  • Meet other parents with children if you are new to the area
  • Create your own meetup revolving around a topic that interests you

How to Find a Meetup in Your Area

It takes only a few minutes to locate a meetup in your area. Go to the website meetup.com and then type in your zip-code, and select your area of interest. Click on the meetup you are interested in and read more about it. If you are still interested select 'join' and you will receive information regarding the scheduled meeting times and the exact location. You may have to attend several in your area of interest until you find people you like and a venue you enjoy.

My Experience at a Raw Foods Meetup

I decided to be adventurous and attend a raw foods meetup that was organized like a potluck. I convinced my husband to go with the usual promise that if we were bored we could leave after an hour. I purposely picked a meetup that was a little more than an hour away, in a town we had never been to, just so it would be more of an adventure (and also so we wouldn't feel as obligated to go back if we didn't really enjoy it). I don't have a quality food processor or dehydrator, so I decided to bring a fresh fruit platter and a chopped salad with homemade green onion dressing. I worried that my contributions would be too simple, but hoped we would be forgiven since we were new to the group.

When we arrived I put my two dishes on the tables, along with their corresponding recipe cards. After introducing ourselves to the host, we sat down in some of the folding chairs that had been arranged in a circle. There were approximately 20 people attending, most of whom had obviously been there before and knew each other. Within 10 minutes the host announced it was time to eat, so everybody got up and started getting food.

I then realized the dishes that I brought were fine. Although some people had made elaborate dishes such as raw apple pie and a very interesting frozen desert; others had simply thrown some raw nuts and strawberries on a plate or put some carrots in a pitcher. It seemed that one person had even bought a pre-cut fruit platter and dumped the fruit in a bowl.

When we sat down an older man in his late 60's started talking to us after I used a good introductory line "So, are you 100% raw?" He was very nice and talked to us for much of the evening. He had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of nine and first became vegetarian for ethical reasons after working on a farm on his 20's and realizing that animals had personalities and real emotions. He then began studying health over the years and started a big vegan and vegetarian organization. His philosophy about raw foods was that 80% was good enough and he allowed himself some cooked vegetables and beans. He will always have diabetes but he said he never gets sick including even a minor cold. He said that all of his diabetic friends and family have had to use dialysis machines well before they reached his age, but his lifestyle has kept him healthy.

After about 45 minutes it was time for the gift exchange. We were supposed to have found something around the house that we didn't want, so we could 'recycle' it. The host's son dressed as Santa Claus and passed out the gifts. I brought a mug because I figured at least people could use it. I received some empty glass bottles in a box because we were supposed to 'recycle' things. I guess that was funny. Finally, we went around the room to say what we were thankful for. I heard people mumble that it was the wrong holiday, but I didn't mind since I think that you should remember what you are thankful for every day. Some people started by saying "what am I NOT thankful for", which is a nice philosophy - although I couldn't help thinking that I wasn't too thankful for all the bills that I keep getting in the mail.

Delicious Fruit Salad at a Raw Foods Meetup
Delicious Fruit Salad at a Raw Foods Meetup | Source
Raw Apple Pie at the Raw Foods Meetup (Not a fan!)
Raw Apple Pie at the Raw Foods Meetup (Not a fan!) | Source

Finally it was time to leave. It seems we enjoyed ourselves enough to surpass that obligatory hour. We thanked the host and said goodbye to the people we met, especially the nice gentleman that we talked to for the majority of the evening. He said he owned a Bed and Breakfast in the area and we could stay for free the next time we came since we had a long drive. I thought that was so kind and we told him we would be back again. Based upon the positive experience we had I decided we would try another meetup some time. Although it is hard to find time for the friends we already have, it is fun to do something different every now and then and meet completely new people. Take a minute and check out meetups in your area. Life is an adventure and you never know where it will lead you!

Raw foods can be both interesting and delicious!
Raw foods can be both interesting and delicious! | Source
These "doughnut holes" tasted better than they looked.
These "doughnut holes" tasted better than they looked. | Source

Raw Foods Meetups

show route and directions
A marker446 Broad Street, Windsor,CT -
446 Broad St, Windsor, CT 06095, USA
get directions

Raw Food Central

B markerWest Palm Beach,FL -
West Palm Beach, FL, USA
get directions

Vital Longevity Raw Food Group

C marker500 E. Ogden, Hinsdale,IL -
500 E Ogden Ave, Hinsdale, IL 60521, USA
get directions

Chicago Suburbs Raw and Living Food

D markerOakland,CA -
Oakland, CA, USA
get directions

Lake County Raw Food Potluck

E markerSeattle,WA -
Seattle, WA, USA
get directions

Seattle Superfood & Raw Food Meetup Group

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I know about meetup.. THink I will look into it. There are several for writers but not in our area. Sharing on facebook ..and voting up.

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Hi Carol! It is worth trying. You can always make the decision not to go back to a meetup. Even a writers meetup an hour away may be worth checking out. If you enjoy it you can choose to go just a few times a year or whatever is convenient. Thanks so much for reading this and the vote and share!

    • Louisa Rogers profile image

      Louisa Rogers 4 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

      This is great! I've heard of meetups but never tried them! I live in a small-ish area but we have a university and a lot of educated people so chances are we do have meetups here, I just never looked them up. I always like meeting new people. Voted up, interesting, useful.

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      You really should try one for fun Louisa! The worst that happens is you decide not to go back. They have so many types of meetups to select. from. Go to meetup.com and put in your zip code and see what the options are. I hope you check one out. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and vote!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 4 years ago from Thailand

      A great idea and website. You can meet new people, learn new things and expand your interests ... all good! The group name Stitch N' Bitch made me laugh.

      Shared, up, useful, pinned and tweeted.

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Hi Brett! Meetups are fun to try to I may even try a writers meetup for fun next. Some of the names are hilarious and creative:) I really appreciate your support and the share,vote,pin,and tweet!! Happy New Year!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I've planned hook-ups, but never meet ups! :) What an excellent idea! Thanks for planting the seed. Wishing you a healthy New Year!

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Hahaha Sunshine! I love that you always make me laugh:) Go to meetup.com and put in your zip code just to see what's there and one day you may check one out out of curiosity. Thanks for readingand commenting! Wishing you and Dave a New Year filled with happiness!!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i don't meet up with new friends cause we don't have any gathering or community meet up in our town. But, i will try to get involve with out of town meet up now. Thanks for yr useful suggestions. Voted up

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      @peachpurple..They have meetups all over the world. Did you go to meetup.com? It's fun to try them even in a nearby town for a new experience with people that have a common interest. I hope you find one. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      What an interesting sounding list of meetups in your area. Sounds like the raw foods one was that and more especially if you met people you liked and came away with some good recipes to add to your list. I must say...your salad looks delicious! I'll bet that there was not much if any left of that! Up and interesting votes. I see they have none of those meetings in Texas where I live. Maybe someday...?

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      @Peggy W...They may have meetups within an hour of you that might be worth traveling for such as photography or for writers.There are so many options but the farther away they are the less likely I am to attend very often but it is fun to try a new one every now and then. Thanks so much for complimenting my salad. I was worried that it wouldn't be up to the standard of the raw foods regulars but it was completely gone by the end of the night so I was happy. Thanks so much for the vote,your kind comment, and support!

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Hi healthylife2,

      This is useful information, i find the idea of having meetup very useful. Such groupings can draw important topics especially on common shared areas as you have stated; exercise, employment, health etc. Voted up, useful and shared.

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Hi dwachira! Meetups are a great way to find people with common interest and there is always room in people's life for even more friends. I was surprised how many types of meetups exist reflecting so many varied interests. I really appreciate the vote and share.

    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 4 years ago from India

      Good hub, well written and it is informative, interesting as well.

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Thank you so much dilipchandra12! So happy you enjoyed this. I had fun at the meetup and hope to check out another one soon.

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City

      I enjoyed reading about your experience with the raw food meetup and learning about meetups in general. I know you're a busy person, but you seem the ideal personality type to start a meetup of your own in your area.

      Great hub; voted up and Shared and linked to --thank you.

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I am glad you enjoyed reading this L.L. Woodard. It was fun to try something completely new. I'm not typically the leader type but it might be fun to step out of my comfort zone. Thanks so much for the vote,share,and link. I always appreciate your support!

    • Rebecca Furtado profile image

      Rebecca Furtado 3 years ago from Anderson, Indiana

      What a nice hub, I attended a meet up group with a political focus. I guess I did not realize how much diversity there is in meetup groups. Nice hub, I am sharing this one.

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 3 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I hope you enjoyed your meet up Rebecca! Go to meetup.com and you will see there are so many to explore. Thank you so much for reading and I really appreciate you sharing this!! Have a great weekend!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 18 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Thank you for introducing me to 'meet up.' This is a great idea and I am most interested in finding a group in my area. I'm sharing this!

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 18 months ago from Connecticut, USA

      Hi Vocalcoach,

      Meetups are in all areas and I hope you check one out. New ones are formed every day and they cover a broad spectrum of interests. It is a fun way to meet new people with the same interest. I hope you stop by again to let me know about your experience!

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