I’m living thousands of kilometres away from my childhood and University friends (I’m in Brussels, they’re in Adelaide), in a town dominated by professional networking, so your post really resonated with me.
I recently tried something similar to a kibbutz, but it didn’t work out — most of my friends here seem to be 10–20 years younger, so they’re still tackling the childcare issues I left behind years ago.
Every December I do make a point to catch up with people I haven’t seen for a few years, but that’s not really enough — it’d take 10 years at this rate to catch up with half of the people I’d like to see. So all hints appreciated! ;)