Having moved cities a total of four times throughout my years, one thing I find is that it gets a little harder each time. Moving somewhere new seems effortless when one was way younger (especially as a four-year-old who just had to follow wherever her parents went), had less emotional baggage, and zero adult responsibilities. Last year I made a move to a new city and here are my takes, my three cents or three points to survive those exciting times.
1. The adulting part
I am a person who loves planning and researching beforehand so this might be slightly biased, but I do think it is important to have a peace of mind that you will be well fed, well clothed, and know exactly where to sleep at night. Get familiar with the place. Get those boring adult stuff out of the way: phone, internet, banking, utilities, and figuring a way to actually survive i.e. dollar-related ways. Find the nearest dentist and clinic in case of emergencies. Each place has its own quirks and watch-its, for example Japan, a disaster-prone country, with its monthly / weekly unpleasant little tremors and emergency backpack preparation. The list goes on, but ultimately you need to care for yourself.
Whatever reason you had to move – a job, an education, a loved one, a yearning to escape, a new opportunity, or even an unfortunate circumstance, once you are in the new place, don’t look back. Own it, embrace it, turn your new place into a home. Go out there and savour what the place has to offer: new food, new neighbourhoods, experiences. Even the not-so-pretty stuff, like loneliness, foreign-ness, feeling lost or like a minority, seemingly intensified when you move on your own. A sense of gratefulness goes a long way. Be culturally sensitive, make an effort to blend in and learn about the people, the language (if you have time). Everything enriches you and teaches you a lesson.
3. Make new friends
I think friends are a lifeline. Especially if you move on your own. Still, even if you move with someone or a family, even if you are someone with an introverted personality like myself who enjoys being alone a bit too much, I still believe that without friends ultimately one would wilt and die. Through a given environment such as school or work, or through actively seeking, try to find a community of people with common interest. Ultimately, when you find and surround yourself with your people, far from just surviving, you’ll thrive.
There you go. If you have this kind of opportunity, or just need a slight push to make the decision to move away to a new city, I’d say go for it! You might never know what you’ll find out there.