starting over in a new city

by - August 13, 2015

In just over nine weeks, I'll be setting up home in a completely new city. It's a slightly daunting thought that I'll know next to no-one and have to consult that trusty companion Google Maps on a daily basis until I get my bearings.

But it's also one of the most exciting adventures I've ever undertaken. I get to start fresh in a new place, meet new people, and make a whole set of new memories with my boyfriend in our new home.

I know there'll be days when the excitement is overtaken with a healthy dose of homesickness and an overwhelming feeling of 'what am I doing here?' but I'm fully aware this is completely expected and will pass quickly once I remember the real reason I packed up and shifted states in the first place.

Hopefully I'll be able to settle into an office job quite quickly so I can start building my own network of friends but in the meantime I'll be trying to throw myself into every opportunity I can to try new things and meet new people.

I found some great tips on Lifehacker this week for settling in to a new city - a few of which I'll definitely be trying once I land in my home.

Get the lay of the land

"If you want to grab a cup of coffee or some lunch, hit up sites like Google Maps or Yelp and look at reviews of nearby spots," says Whitson Gordon from Lifehacker who moved across the US to settle in California. "Of course, there’s no substitution for trying something out, so don’t be afraid to hop around, either."

As it happens, I do know of a couple of childhood friends who are now settled in Brisbane so I plan to get in touch once I'm up there and pick their brains about their favourite places to eat, drink and just hang out.

But being the classic, organised Type A that I am, I love the idea of this tip from Lifehacker that will keep all my handy info and tips in one handy place: "A really great (and geeky) way to compile this kind of advice is to create a Google Doc (or Google Map) and invite the few people you know to collaborate on it. If you can get one person to get the ball rolling, you can probably get a lot of people to join in, adding their favourite places to eat and things to do in town."

Make new friends

I'm guessing in the immediate aftermath of the move, my boyfriend's friends will be my friends. But looking further forward, I'm really keen to establish my own network too. The office is the obvious place to do this but I'm really going to make an effort to get involved in some other classes and activities to get me out and about.

"Apart from your own hobbies, I can’t recommend getting involved with community service and other local organisations enough," says Whitson. "That may make you roll your eyes, but it’s something you don’t need any former experience to get involved in, everyone’s always super friendly, and at the very least, you’ll get some free DIY skills out of it. Anything that gets you out and social is going to make you feel better than sitting at home doing nothing, so you’ve got nothing to lose by getting out there."

Don't stress about it

I have no misconceptions that the whole moving cities thing might not be as plain sailing as I'm hoping it will be but the best advice I've read online is not to worry about it too much. It may take some time but I know settling in to my new home will unfold naturally and I will eventually slip into a routine. As with everything, the more positive an attitude I have, the more likely it is that good things will happen.

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