Changing the way I socialize and spend time with others

Marathon, black silhouettes of runners on the sunset

Well, we’re still here in Montenegro and we love it so much!

Montenegro is a blend of what we like in Europe and South East Asia. Temperate weather, great fruit, European comforts, friendly people, relatively low cost of living. We can see ourselves coming back here for an extended stay!

Our rent is a little high at 650ā‚¬ per month, but it’s also high season and was a steal compared to other apartments that were 1000ā‚¬+. During low season, this place rents for only 200ā‚¬ per month or less, according to our host!

Even though we’re paying a lot for rent, it’s been worth it since we don’t pay rent anywhere else, and it was very important that I attended my best friends’ wedding (as the MOH!) which is the reason why we’re here in Montenegro.

Since coming here, we’ve been cooking our own food in the apartment so it’s been very Preiswert, as the Germans would say!

But once we took off for the wedding which was in a town 25km from where we’re staying, we ate out a lot with the other guests.

I realized that hanging out like this is no longer my preference for socializing. Which is HUGE for me because this was the main type of socializing I’ve done for most of my life, coming from a big city.

Martin was never a big city person and just thought we all wasted our lives, time and money, and that it was pointless but did it because of me. And now I totally get what he means!

It’s not that I can NEVER socialize over a meal with friends or family, but when it starts being the ONLY thing we do, it’s kind of all the same. Especially when it requires going to restaurants or bars every single time. Like dude, we just did it an hour ago – we’re going AGAIN?!?!

We spent more money over a weekend on food than we will for the other 30 days we’re here in Montenegro!

Plus our fitness plummeted from all that sitting around, and we started getting stir crazy.

Martin did organize a hike up the mountain, which was a nice highlight and GREAT for socializing. Not to mention FREE and a good workout with breath taking views, etc…

The guests who didn’t join us up the mountain chose to charter a private boat for 3 hours that took them around the Bay. Despite being young and able bodied, they preferred to do more sitting around while also spending more money. It’s just part of the culture. I get it but I no longer like it.

When we were in Chiang Mai, we met a lot of vegan cyclists and we did go out to eat together, but only after a bike ride which was how we planned our days. Even getting to the restaurant required riding there.

Which totally changed my life!

It took me from being sedentary, to actually wanting to move.

I didn’t realize this shift until after hanging out with all these Torontonians again at the wedding.

They are culturally different from Europeans who are generally more active and who don’t have a strong eating-out-for-every meal culture.

It’s good that I’m already experiencing reverse culture shock while I’m still in Europe, because it’s helping me figure out how I want to socialize when we move to Canada.

Unless you’re my 93 year old Grandma, I don’t want to go out for coffee or to restaurants with you.

Though I don’t mind grabbing a bite to eat AFTER doing something physically active (a walk, a bike, a run), I would always prefer us to pack our own food and share it together in a public space.

This may seem very blah to most of my friends, but that’s the price to pay for hanging out with me now! :mrgreen:


  1. // Reply

    Well that is exactly the problems I face with my circle of friends. It is not easy to convince people to take our own food out there somewhere in nature/park and spend some quality time talking. It is cheaper and a waaaaay better experience. But almost all of them do not like this. They would rather eat out every single time.

    Also, in general, FI itself is a kind of solitary journey. Not many want to do “sacrifices”. So I understand what you are trying to say Jessica šŸ™‚

    How is the real estate thing coming along? Found one?

    1. // Reply

      Honestly, I tell my friends that I’m on a tight budget and they understand. Of course it’s easy to do this for us now since we’re unemployed!

      It’s good that you organize hikes with your friends. They must appreciate that a lot! Isn’t it normal for Germans to not eat out much? I did a lot of picnics with my German friends, or we’d eat first and meet up afterwards.

      I’m composing an entry about our RE journey!

      1. // Reply

        Yes, this is why hikes are my favourite activity. Our group is typically more international rather than German. Germans have their own exclusive groups for hiking šŸ˜‰ .
        Nevertheless, these trips are enjoyable and not so expensive.

        1. // Reply

          True, with my non-German friends it was harder. Everyone wanted to go out for food and drinks. No mountains for us to hike in Nordrhein Westfalen! šŸ™

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