Moving to a new city can be an exciting but overwhelming change. Once your belongings are (mostly) unpacked in your new apartment or home, there’s an entirely new phase of the process—establishing your routine, getting settled, and meeting people in a new city. With a little preparation and a positive attitude, you can feel at home in no time. Here are a few tips for how to adjust to a new city!
Stay Somewhere Comfortable
If you haven’t signed a lease or bought a home yet, finding a comfortable home takes away a lot of the stress that comes with adjusting to a new city. Furnished temporary housing options like extended stay hotels are perfect in this situation because they provide everything you need as you search for your new neighborhood—a place to sleep and cook meals, amenities like WiFi and cable, and access to laundry machines! When you stay in a temporary furnished home, you don’t need to bring and unpack all of your things. Just the clothes, toiletries, and personal items you need on a day-to-day basis. The rest of your things can be kept in an affordable self-storage unit until you’re ready to officially settle down!
Cover Your Basic Needs
One of the first things you should do in a new city is getting the lay of the land. Finding hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, libraries, etc., as soon as possible will help you cover the basics and feel more settled. Covering the basics also means gathering important contact information. If you’re renting a home in a new city, get the number for your property manager and the person in charge of maintenance. If you’re in a house, sites like Angie’s List or Thumbtack.com will help you find verified contractors. Also, Nextdoor is a great tool for neighbors to connect with one another, share recommendations, and more!
Download Local Apps
Whether you need to find the closest metro station or a grocery delivery service, apps can make your life in a new city much easier! Do some research before you arrive to find out what apps are most used in your area. With dining and nightlife, you can use Yelp and Untapped to get a feel for local hot spots. Are you in a bike-friendly city? See if there are bike-sharing apps available. Wondering how to meet people in a new city? Download Bumble. Yes, it’s better known as a dating app, but you can tailor it to meet friends, too!
Tap Networks to Meet People
Meeting people in a new city is vital to get settled. Explore your networks to see who can connect you with people in your area. LinkedIn is a great tool to use for professional or volunteer connections, while Meetup is perfect for finding social gatherings, events, or groups with similar interests. Try to attend as many social functions, and say “Yes” to as many invitations as you can. Go to lunch or happy hours with coworkers and make it a point to meet your neighbors. See if your neighborhood has a Nextdoor and/or a Facebook group to stay up-to-date on the events and happenings in your area.
Find a Co-Working Space
If you’re working remotely, it may be tempting to stay in your new apartment or house in your pajamas all day. Instead, check out a co-working space in your new city to get work done and socialize at the same time! Sites like Desks Near Me and Coworker can help you find co-working spaces near you. Even if you aren’t a freelance or remote worker, take some personal projects to the closest one. Co-working spaces can be great for meeting new people, attending events, and finding out where the best local spots are!
Lace Up Your Walking Shoes
Going for a walk isn’t just good for your health. It’s also a great way to find coffee shops, boutiques, and restaurants near your new home! When you walk through your neighborhood, it’s easier to get a sense of the environment. Time the walking distance to public transit, to a local bookstore, or a delicious takeout spot. Plus, walking gives you more chances to meet neighbors or potential friends than driving around!
Take the Initiative
Check your local coffee shop for friendly faces, or ask people on the street for the best bars or hidden gems to explore. Take a book to a local brewery or chat with the bartender during a slow period. You’ll be amazed at how friendly people will be to the new person in town. If you’re moving to a new city alone, going to bars, restaurants, or concert venues alone may be difficult at first. But after you meet your new group of friends, it will be well worth it!
Give Yourself Time to Adjust
After moving to a new city, there can be a period of culture shock. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember that there’s no set time for how long it takes to adjust to a new city. Give yourself at least a year to get comfortable to your new life. Experiencing the weather and seasons, learning the traffic patterns, and mastering your daily routine is vital to your comfort, and that can take a while. Nevertheless, a positive attitude will do wonders for your anxiety. Enjoy the adventure!
Stay Close to Friends & Family Back Home
While it’s exciting to be in a new city, don’t forget about the friends and family who are cheering you on at home. Keep in touch and know that you are loved and missed. After you get settled in your city, invite them to stay for a weekend and show them how well you’ve done adjusting to your new home!