How to adjust to a new city
From the Nordic wildlife to the Mediterranean island, over to the big city; I've had my fair share of moving to new places these past few years. I have moved and temporarily lived at so many different places that it has become such a normality for me. So I think it’s safe to say that adjusting to a new city is a specialty of mine. But I feel you when you say moving to a new place is scary. While many people dream of moving to a new city, the idea of starting over somewhere far away is enough to make most of them stay put. Although it may seem like moving is no longer something out of the ordinary, changing space and getting out of our nests to hide can be a major shock to our emotional and mental selves. Especially at the beginning it may be hard to leave your beloved ones, but I'm telling you, you'll eventually get used to it and settle in. It takes time to get to know a new place, and feeling comfortable, as with everything, comes with the time. I am sharing with you my tips on how to decrease that settling-in time and create a new life in a new city.
Be a tourist
It's totally alright to be a tourist upon arrival in a new city. In fact, I can only recommend you to get to know your new city that way. Go sit next to that foreign travel group on a tour bus, visit the city's landmarks, and take photos, lots of photos. Also, try to avoid the car or underground and explore your new city by foot. Walking is the one and only way to truly get to know the neighborhoods, plus it gives you a much better picture of the distances between destinations. Get to know the city and its history, you'll sure feel like it's your new home in no time.
Volunteer. Attend local events. Work in a coffee shop or visit the market on a bright Sunday morning. See and be seen. This might be the most essential piece of advice you'll get about relocating. All of these things will help you meet people and feel connected to your new town. To be honest, meeting people and making friends in a new city is something that even I find myself struggling with from time to time. It isn't all as easy as it sounds, especially in the beginning, when after your move, all you want to do is relax and spend some time in front of the TV. But I'm telling you, sometimes you've just got to dive in! You won't meet people just sitting at home, so leave the house whenever you can. Go out, talk to people and put yourself in places fitting your interests. The more involved you are in the community you’re building a life in, the easier it will be to feel at home. And don't turn down any invitations you get. Who cares about your comfort zone anyway? Take the opportunity and connect with new people. You've got nothing to lose but everything to gain.
Find your go-to spots
Whether it's the Starbucks around the corner or the bookshop next door.. Whenever I move to a new town, I make sure to find myself some go-to spots where I always end up going back to. Nothing makes you feel more like home than the Barista's recognizing you (Or your order, for that matter). I always try to find some local coffee shops where I go to to get some work done, rather than doing it from my apartment.
Keep up your hobbies
At university it's easy to quickly get a decent-sized social circle together. There's endless people to meet, that are as keen on making friends as you are. Outside of college, the situation looks a little different, where you might have to put together your social life one bit at a time. Getting out and active with your favourite hobbies is not only a great way to find people with similar interests, but also allows you to bring something from home into your new life. Plus, common interests are the perfect conversation starter, avoiding awkward introductions. And even if your hobby is something you haven’t done for years, it’s the perfect opportunity to get back in the game and meet like-minded people.
Don't be afraid to do things on your own
While some people are moving somewhere they already have an established circle of friends, others may find themselves in a city where they do not have any connections. If the latter one is the case, or even at times you just can't find anyone to hang out with, do not be afraid to experience on your own. The worst thing you can do is stay home and let the fear of being alone keep you from exploring. Independence is a great thing, and let me tell you that you do not need your friends, family or anything else to enjoy a place. Doing things alone can be a satisfying and empowering experience.
Some people can move to a new place and instantly feel at home, while it takes others a little longer to settle in. Regardless, moving to a new city should be viewed as an exciting opportunity, and you will eventually feel at home wherever you end up..