Making friends as an adult can be really hard. I’m also not about to share with you my 3 best tips to help you. I don’t have them, and I don’t think it’s as easy as that.

As someone who’s spent the majority of their 30s bouncing around countries and communities travelling alone, in between living in a remote rural location in the mountains of Wales where my nearest neighbours are fields of sheep, I can tell you that sometimes making friends is the most natural thing in the world, and sometimes it takes a lot of time, patience and introspection.

As with life in general, our experiences often allow us the opportunity to look at ourselves and get comfortable with the uncomfortable. We are human – we need people, love, human touch, laughter, companionship, comfort and care in our lives. We can be the most independent and self-sufficient people on the planet, but we are an interdependent species.

That said, learning to be comfortable with our own company, to explore the narratives we have created around what it means to be alone or not surrounded by close friends, can be really enlightening and lessen some of the pressure we may feel to be whatever it is we think we need to be.

One small observation from many years in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people – doing things you think you ‘should’ do in order to meet people (join a gym, or a class, get a dog or go on a dating app…the list goes on), will not enable you to meet ‘your’ people unless you actually genuinely want to do those things and enjoy doing them. Living your life, the way you want to, doing things you enjoy, and bringing laughter and joy to your own life, brings you into alignment with other people who feel the same way you do, like the same things you do, and see you as an attractive prospective friend because you look like someone living their life and enjoying it.

Also, don’t wait for permission, a partner or a friend to go do something you want to do. Put your walking shoes on, book yourself in, save for the trip….whatever it is, don’t put your life on hold waiting for someone else to live it.