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Old 07-05-2011, 10:40 AM
Location: Metro DC
35 posts, read 60,860 times
Reputation: 51


Hi all. I've been reading the forum for a while now trying to pick up hints about relocating to Maine in the next few years. I'm approaching retirement age and yearning to come back to New England. Grew up in Mass. but summered in Maine and Vermont. Have always wanted to live for real in Maine. When I am able to get up there I gravitate toward Brunswick-Bath area probably because I know that area the best. Am in metro DC now and am sure this is not where I want to live out the rest of my life!

Most of my questions revolve around establishing friendships and building a social network. I am single, will probably continue to work part-time. Am looking to be in or close to a small town but within reasonable travel distance to shopping, theatre, restaurants etc.

I don't know anyone in Maine! So how does one go about meeting folk, exploring common interests and becoming part of a community? I understand, value and share the Mainer tendency to respect/need neighborly distance but am concerned that in my circumstances that may turn out to be very lonely indeed!

Any thoughts from those of you who have made the transition? Thanks for all input!
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:40 PM
Location: Cape Elizabeh, ME
404 posts, read 644,841 times
Reputation: 271
I understand your concern, and am in that boat myself. I'm single and move here last year. I was hoping to establish friendships at work, but that's not really panning out. However there are social networking options. One Option is the out and about club. its one of the meetups (meetup.com) The out and about is portland based and is very active, but there are a couple Bath/Brunswick groups. Another option is volunteering or classes and I've met a few people at the dog park. I'm better at giving the advice than taking my own though. I find people here are generally friendly and many have moved here from else where, even up in the Brunswick and bath area. I'm ususally quick to tell people I've recently moved here and they do open up a much more....even though I'm from "Away".
I've not been very successful but only because I haven't applied myself.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:05 PM
Location: Backwoods of Maine
6,943 posts, read 7,704,387 times
Reputation: 17866
Even though I am married and there is the possibility that one of our grown daughters with her family may join us up in Maine at some point, DW and I also wonder how we would fit in and meet new friends.

Then I have to slap myself upside the head and remember, how did we get to know people here in RI? We are regular church-goers and that has been an introduction to many wonderful folks who get together for church suppers as well as church sermons, who take up collections for families who have hit hard times, and generally help each other out.

There are lonely people in any community; I have felt most lonely in the midst of a big city with lots of people around. But you need to look around you...are there any shut-ins who could use a weekly visit with library books or a bouquet of flowers? Are there any harried parents who could use a dependable person to look after a child for a few hours a week? Any bake sales that you could share an old family recipe? Take over a scouting group that has lost its troop leader? Yes, I realize that is asking you to contribute something that you might not have thought about contributing.

Volunteering to serve in some capacity or other is the very best way of meeting other people, and finding those things that you share in common. Yes, it takes time, but always remember: your day of need may come along at some point. Who would you rather have around you when you need them: strangers or the very same folks that you once helped when you had the time and energy?
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:15 PM
Location: Northern Maine
9,535 posts, read 14,362,016 times
Reputation: 9027
"I don't know anyone in Maine! So how does one go about meeting folk, exploring common interests and becoming part of a community?"

Becoming involved with a church is the quickest way. You can shop for a church that fits. There are plenty of groups that share common interests such as snowmobile clubs, ATV clubs, sportsman's clubs etc. Then there is politics. If you have principles and know your own mind, jump in. You'll be welcome.
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Old 07-05-2011, 03:14 PM
8,760 posts, read 16,147,541 times
Reputation: 3486
Far easier than church is the local bar room. Become a regular for a beer or two in a local tavern and before you know it you'll get invited to sports events, BBQs and will make friends. If you don't make any friends you won't care as much after a couple of rounds.
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:02 PM
Location: South Portland, Maine
2,356 posts, read 4,950,276 times
Reputation: 1511
Last year at my sons football banquet the coach said something that made a lot of sense... he talked about two particular players that are really close and are always together.... "something you just dont see anymore on this age of texting, facebooking ect.." its a real shame the kids today dont seem to be as socially ACTIVE as we once were..

I had to think of all the friends I had when I was younger and how my memories usually surround some kind of event, or getting together, or just doing something...

This forum, and other social networking sites and just the overall great advances in technology have made it a lot easier to connect, stay connected and to even meet people..

But when it comes to developing meaningful realationships it helps when it surrounds a common interest, is face to face, and is about doing something and sharing some kind of experience...

So I reccomend joing one or several activity groups... hiking, biking, book reading ect...

I also like Maineah's idea... take one or two nights... but go the same nights each week to grab dinner and a beer at a local tavarn and you will definately meet people..
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:22 PM
4,247 posts, read 4,465,919 times
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Good question... I also am in the DC area, Arlington, and am considering Maine as the next chapter for retirement. Don't know anyone in Maine but do in Vermont and NH... but that isn't the same. It shall be interesting.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:15 PM
Location: Corinth, ME
2,712 posts, read 4,926,331 times
Reputation: 1863
I met and become acquainted with my main core group of friends in Maine here on City-Data, actually.

Also, working in a local business helped me to become acquainted with many local folks. I am not much at socializing, though, so this was never a big issue for me. I am usually do busy DOING that I don't have time to even think about "socializing" per se... most of my interactions are involved with stuff I do... farmers markets, volunteering at the local elementary school a bit, etc.

I know everyone always says "join a church" and that is great if it is something you normally do; I am not a church goer and this has not been a problem for me here or elsewhere.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:19 PM
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
1,922 posts, read 3,676,704 times
Reputation: 1287
My wife and I vacationed in Mdi for years. We developed a friend who we stayed in their house every year. Then we made friends with a broker who introduced us to lots of other people. Then we joined the local Quaker Meeting, and the local Senior College, and even though we haven't moved yet, we actually have more friends on the island than we have where we've lived for the past 33 years.

Just get involved immediately and volunteer to help and you will have no problems. Mainers are wonderful people. My aunt moved to a new place when she retired and joined all kinds of local groups and volunteered. She became the darling of everyone. But it is good to try to find a place where there are a lot of retirees and a lot of retirees like you and probably a lot of retirees "from away". People in the 60's who hae grown up in places generally aren't interested in making new friends. MDI has about 40% of the winter population who are retired according to the 2000 census.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:26 PM
17,240 posts, read 22,294,317 times
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I have a good suggestion for any new arrivals, that want to meet folks- because you have "moved"

you probly had to go thru and chuck out alot of non-essentials, but their are many items you hate to throw out or give away, so bring the many items and plan on having a "lawn sale" when you get here, all your neighbors will stop by to look and say hi!!

if you dont have a front lawn to have a lawn sale, many churches/elks clubs have flea markets, where you can rent a table or donate alot of items, and go and help out-you can meet half the town in a day
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