Let's Meetup And...
Let’s be honest. Hanging out with the same people – no matter how great they are – gets boring. And doing the same things – no matter how great they are – gets boring. In a “small town” like ours, this boredom can set in quicker.
Luckily, there is a .com saving us all from our self-induced social circles. Welcome to Meetup.com. With 7.2 million members in 45,000 cities around the world, it’s time you climb aboard.
The concept is simple: form groups around specific areas of interest. Whether that interest is politics, rock climbing, photography, laughing (seriously, that’s one), animals, technology, senior singles, wine, local organic eating or whatever else! Can’t find the Meetup Group for you? It’s super simple to start one up.
The best part? People actually go to these things! Out of curiosity, we went to a recent one with the Charleston Dancing Meetup Group and there were almost 60 people there – all friendly, ready to learn and excited to meet new people. The organizer was a newby to Charleston, Pamela Frazier, who says that Meetups allowed her to meet a lot of new people who shared similar interests and quickly became her Charleston pals.
We are stoked to now be regular members of The Charleston Italian Language Meetup (otherwise known as Il Tavolo Italiano) so have been fortunate to see the inner workings of Meetup at its best. This group, comprised of everyone from beginners to native Italian speakers, comes together for the love of a language. Led by Chuck Wagner (known as “Carlos” to his students), the group gathers over wine, munchies and verb drill books to be tutored and share in good times.
Wagner jokes that his garage is a “graveyard of old hobbies,” but says that his love of the Italian language was the only one that stuck. So, even though he has a full-time job, he spends about an extra 30 hours per week organizing all the different Italia Meetups and loves every minute of it.
It’s got it all: classes (remember homework?); a Total Immersion series enabling you to practice by engaging in spontaneous social conversation; and even card-carrying perks like discounts at Bacco, 3 Italians and a tomatoe, wineawhile, and more.
Meetups cost you way less than anything in your current social scene, be it bars or gym memberships. Most Meetups are between $1 – $5. A 12-week course through through Il Tavolo Italiano, for instance, costs $30.
So pick yours. Some trending Charleston Meetups right now include Seashells and Beachcombing (22 kayakers signed up), Learning the Merengue (11 attending), and Day Hike in Awendaw-South Tibwin (26 hikers going).
It’s the perfect time to find your new thing. Because experiencing our vibrant local community is so much more fun than sitting in that self-made bubble.