Relocating to PEI?

My husband & I are seriously considering a move to Prince Edward Island this year.

We are retirees - no children - currently living in rural Ontario.

We are excited about putting down roots in PEI but are concerned about how difficult it would be to get to know people & forge new friendships beyond the acquaintance level.

We realize the onus is on us to join local community groups/organizations etc but still have reservations about making new friends and belonging.

We plan to buy a home in a village with a few amenities or small town in PEI.

Hearing your opinion & learning of your personal experience would be much appreciated.

Thank you,

J&L

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Relocating to PEI and Making Friends
by: Linda

Hi J&L,

Thank you for reaching out to us. It's so nice to know that people are finding our website.

I'm sure you and your husband will love it here especially if you are from rural Ontario as you already have a taste of country life. Prince Edward Island is mostly rural so you should feel right at home here.

Have you decided on what area you would like to settle into?

I understand your concern about finding friends here but I think that no matter where you live, you'll find friendly people.

I actually did a search on the internet before we decided to move here to see if anyone was talking about or sharing their experience with making friends on the island and also whether we would be accepted or shunned as newcomers here.

I didn't find much on the internet except for someone's blog who mentioned that islanders didn't really care for those "from away" and that people moving here wouldn't be accepted.

She said once she got here that she couldn't wait to leave. That concerned me somewhat as we are not real huge on socializing but we wanted to have a couple of close friends to share our journey with here in PEI.

However, I did find another blogger who said that it was nonsense to think that you'd be shunned. She said that if you want to have friends, then be a friend.

That made sense to us so we didn't worry too much about it. Rather than be apprehensive about letting go of familiar friends and family in Ontario, we decided to think of moving to Prince Edward Island as an adventure and an opportunity to grow and experience some excitement in our old age!

Our first attempt to connect with strangers happened when we decided to go online to find a church that had the same beliefs that we had in the area that we were moving to.

We contacted the Pastor via email and told him a little about ourselves and when we were moving here and approximately what date we thought we might be able to attend our first service.

He was very happy that we had reached out to him and looked forward to meeting us.

When we were finally settled enough in our new home to venture out to church we were greeted by the church members so enthusiastically that we felt like we had always known them. It was a real genuine welcoming.

Not only that, but our next door neighbours knocked on our door a day after we arrived and introduced themselves. They gave us a plate of homemade cookies and a list of the names and phone numbers of the other neighbours on our lane and told us that they would be more than happy to answer any questions we had and would be available if we needed them for anything.

A couple of days later, two of our other neighbours arrived at our door to introduce themselves and gave us a nice gift package that included some lovely products from their lavender farm.

Next we were invited to attend a "Meet Your Neighbour" gathering at a historical little country school house just up the road. Each year the group that cares for the building puts on a meet and greet so all the neighbours can get to know each other. They serve cookies and hot coffee and tea.

At Christmas time, a couple on our lane invited us to their house for a gathering where we met most of the other people who lived on our lane.

We were also invited to church peoples' homes for fellowship, games, and food on many occasions!

Not only that, but everywhere we went as we explored the island for the next couple of years, we found everyone to be very friendly and welcoming. Never have we ever felt rejected or unwanted.

We have been amazed at the hospitality of these sweet people in PEI.

Funny thing is too, that we have met many, many, people across the island who have moved here from Ontario. As a matter of fact, there are seven houses on our lane and all but one family is from Ontario and we live in a small rural town with a population of just a few hundred. What are the odds of that?

There are so many activities in PEI that you can attend that I really don't think you'll have a problem making friends...everything from deep sea fishing to fine dining.

Many of the smaller towns/villages use their community halls for gatherings where you can meet people as well. They have music, story telling, guitar and Ukele lessons, painting classes, computer classes, Euchre games, basket weaving, pot luck suppers, and so many other activities that I'm sure you'll find something that will suit you and your husband.

Some of the smaller communities have their own little newspapers where you can find upcoming activities and some of the local variety stores have bulletin boards where organizers post their events.

Once you've made a few friends here and there, then you can decide on who you would like to deepen your friendship with and invite them over for brunch or a barbecue (if they don't beat you to it!).

Keep in touch and let us know how your plans are coming along. We'd love to hear from you again.

Linda

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