Whether you are moving to a new city for a job opportunity or just a change of scenery, it can be the move of a lifetime. Moving to another city can give you the chance to reinvent yourself and start over. If it’s a new job you’re chasing then you can usually find it a great opportunity to grow a career and yourself as a person. The change in culture may be the ticket to a more interesting and fulfilling life that was not available back where you grew up.
At the same time, it can be a huge adjustment that is not easy to figure out. There are times when you will be confused, lonely, and wonder if the move was the right idea. Being in a new place can be overwhelming and it can take some time to find your footing. In this article, we will go over several of the ways that you can make this adjustment and thrive in your new city.
1 – Find your tribe
Finding new friends is the hardest part of moving to a new city, many people there are already established and have friends they made over the years. They aren’t necessarily looking for new friends. Breaking into existing social circles is not easy to do.
This is why it’s important to find a group that you can fit into easily since you may share some common aspects of your life. For instance, if you were in the military then you may find yourself fitting in with people that were also in the same branch as you were. Take the opportunity to always be on the lookout for others that have the same background. Wear your Marine Corps gear when you are out and about, for example. You will find yourself being approached by others who were also in the Marines and can strike up a friendship as a result.
Sometimes there are places where people from another part of the country will congregate. You may find yourself able to connect with new friends that grew up in your old hometown. If you grew up in Boston but then moved to Los Angeles, you should look for the bars where they show Red Sox games as that’s where all the New Englanders will be hanging out.
2 – Get to know the city
The key to feeling like you are home even in a new city is to get to know it as if you grew up there. Explore all the areas and find the neighborhoods where you feel most at home. Go to the little mom-and-pop stores and get to know them. Being a regular there and at the restaurants around town will help you feel like you belong there as people will treat you as a regular when they see you often.
Make sure to go to events around town even when you think you might not be interested. These events will bring people from all over the city and help you feel like you understand how the city works. Every city has its own culture and finding ways to get to understand it will go a long way toward feeling at home there.
3 – Just say yes
You are going to be out of your comfort zone quite a bit when you are in a new city. Being open to new experiences will feel overwhelming at times and you may want to retreat into the comfortable routines you once had.
Try to break out of this mindset by saying yes to things often. If you’re invited by a coworker to go to a poetry reading, say yes even if you don’t like poetry. Maybe one of your neighbors is asking you to help them move a few things to their apartment. Go ahead and do it even though you don’t want to. Or, you’re approached by somebody handing out flyers to go to a free yoga session at their new studio, then say yes and take them up on it.
Doing so is going to help you find the things that you enjoy and didn’t even know about. Or, they will expose you to people that you might not have met otherwise. It is a great opportunity to expand your comfort zone and not feel alone and helpless any longer.
4 – Get involved
Your new city is your new home and it is important that you play a part in how things go there. This means that as a part of the community now you have a responsibility to try to make a difference there. If you care about your new home then you will want to get involved so that you can play a part in its future.
This can mean a number of different things depending on your personality and what you feel is most important to you. For instance, if you have a pet issue then you could volunteer with an organization that deals with it. If you want to help figure out the homeless problem, then you can donate your time and resources to being involved with them to make a difference.
Politics is also another area where you can make a difference. In fact, you may even be able to play a big role by running for some local offices if you think you have some ideas that can help improve life for the city’s residents.
When there are events then you can make sure to get involved and start making connections with the people that are out there trying to make a bright future for the city and area. You’ll become a part of the fabric of where you live while also improving the city.
It will definitely take a while to get acclimated so don’t expect any overnight success stories. Over time, you will be able to fit in well as long as you follow these tips. Your new life is what you make of it and this is a good first step.