Moving is hard- besides all of the boxes, waiting to set up the internet, and updating your address for every account, most likely you’ve just left behind a life of comfort filled with friends and routines. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, scared, or sad about being in a new place, especially if it wasn’t your first (or second or third) choice. However, there are some ways to help make the transition better - and pretty soon, you may just find yourself loving your new home.
Create a Bucket List
This world is full of beautiful places and lucky for you, you’ve just been given an opportunity to do some exploring. Make a board on Pinterest filled with every “10 things you must do in this city” list you can find, read reviews on TripAdvisor, learn the history, and ask locals what their favorite restaurants/areas of the city are. As you find activities to do and places to go, print out a list and stick it on your fridge to remind yourself of all of the fun adventures that you get to do in this city! Don’t forget to continue adding to it as you continue to research.
Ease Into a Routine
Routines can be extremely comforting because they create structure in your life. Life in a new city is completely unpredictable, so routines may help you adjust. Sign up for a weekly yoga class, find a church to attend, or join a book club - in addition to providing some much needed consistency in the whirlwind of a move, all of these things will help this new city feel a little less intimidating and a little more like home.
Make New Friends
Introduce yourself to your neighbors, join a kickball team, or strike up a conversation with the person next to you at your gym class. The more people you meet, the more likely it is that you’ll find a friend. Maybe you’ll meet someone who has lived in the city for years and can help you create your bucket list- ask them for recommendations for everything from the best restaurant to the best place to get a haircut. By asking about his or her life, you will be able to connect with them on a more personal level. On the other hand, maybe you’ll meet someone who also just moved to the city- if so, chances are that person is in the same situation as you and the two of you can explore the city together.
Be a Tourist
Tourists often have an advantage over locals because they know that they only have a specified number of days in a city, so they allot time to make sure they visit each site, restaurant, and activity on their list. Many locals know the tourist spots but never go there because that’s what they are - tourist spots - and they assume they’re going to be crowded or overpriced. This can be true, but chances are the tourist spots are also worth a visit - they must be pretty incredible to continually attract so many tourists. Unfortunately, time can slip away and locals can move without having ever experienced some of the best parts of the city they lived in. To fully enjoy your city, approach each day like you are a tourist and you only have a few days there. This will give you more of an urgency to get out and explore rather than stay at home and put off the beautiful places, incredible restaurants, and fun activities that are out there waiting for you.
Alter Your Mindset
This is perhaps the hardest one, especially for those of us who have difficulty with change in general. Try to see this as an adventure - maybe you never saw yourself living in the mountains because you prefer the beach, or maybe you never saw yourself living in a different country than the one you were born in, but you get to choose to enjoy this new adventure or not. If you’re missing family and friends, just know that they are a short text or call away. If you’re missing your favorite running trail, explore until you find a new favorite. If you find yourself with a lot of free time on your hands, you could volunteer, pick up a new hobby, or join a book club. Whatever you might be struggling with, altering your mindset and viewing the move as an adventure with bucket list items will help make each day better.
Armed with your new friends, optimistic mindset, ever-growing bucket list, a few routines, and the excitement of a tourist, you will be able to live a full and wonderful life in your new city.