With the new year comes new changes and for some that can mean big things. You may be thinking about common new year goals like starting a new healthy living lifestyle or implementing more self-care into your routine. But why not consider relocating? I’m getting a little bolder in my goals and I encourage you to do the same. Most of the time we stay in the same place even when we long for new scenery and a fresh environment!
Don’t get me wrong there are headaches that come along with moving to a new place. You may be dreading the idea of starting over from scratch or the process of reacclimating to somewhere that is unfamiliar. But even with those challenges relocating can be very appealing if you’re open-minded.
Tip: Concerned about finding a new job if you move? Check with your manager or human resources department to see if transferring is an option for you. This way you eliminate the fear of losing your stable source of income – and some companies will cover some (or all) of your relocation expenses.
When we embark on new opportunities fear always finds a way to creep in. But there is really nothing to worry about. Sure, there will be an adjustment period in the beginning as you are trying to get your bearings. Eventually, your new home will feel just as familiar to you as your current one.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed with the decision to do something new, always remember that if things don’t work out, you can always go back to what you were doing!
Here are my top tips for making the most of your relocation to a new city
Go Retro and Really Get to Know Your New City
We’re all used to plugging our destination in the GPS and automatically getting turn-by-turn instructions on where to go. Navigation is so detailed now that it even accounts for rerouting around traffic, accidents, and closed roads. But when you get a new city, you don’t want to be on autopilot. You actually want to learn your new city. As crazy and retro as it sounds you should really look into getting a map. When you’re forced to learn the streets, intersections, and locations of places that you will frequent, you get familiar with your new community real quick!
Don’t worry though, if you’re not into using a paper map and you think I’m completely crazy, there are apps like Waze to help you find your way.
Choose your new neighborhood wisely
Before you move to your new city, you’ll need to decide where to live. Take my advice. Even if you’re not looking to purchase a home immediately it’s worth speaking to a real estate agent. Look for agents that have strong ties to the community and are focused on the buyer’s need, like The Buyer’s Agent of East Florida. You want to be thoroughly informed about neighborhood statistics, crime rates, and community culture. Sure you can do quite a bit of research online but there’s nothing like the perspective of someone native to the area.
Knowing the average selling and rental prices for the area will help you make an informed decision. And since every neighborhood is different, you’ll want the inside scoop on which ones fit your personality. For example, Atlanta’s Buckhead area is extremely trendy so you will find lots of expensive coffee shops, shopping and fine dining there. If that’s not your thing, you’ll want to know what your other options are before narrowing down your neighborhood options.
Get A Hobby
It’s worth taking up a new hobby when you move to a new city. But not one that you do on your own at home. I’m talking about a hobby that requires you to join a club or an organization. One where you’ll be forced to be around new people. It should however actually be something that you enjoy doing. Consider the local running meetup group, if you are into your fitness or a book club if you’re a reading enthusiast.
Tip: If you were previously involved in an organization in your former city, you may want to see if there is a local chapter or similar club to get involved with, in your new area.
Figure Out The Public Transport
In many smaller cities, most people have cars and there’s ample parking to get to and from where you need to go. However, if you are moving a large metropolitan area, where parking is scarce and traffic is chaotic, you may want to do your research on the public transport system before you attempt to use it. At the very least, work out where your closest bus, train, and metro stops are to your home. Then compare where each route stops so that you can thoroughly understand how to get important places, like work, the city center, and local shops.
Get In Touch With Friends Of Friends
Don’t know anyone in your new city? No problem – maybe one of your friends from back home does? It’s a good idea to see if any of your friends have friends in the city where you’re moving to. They might be able to set you up on a friend date! Some of your relatives might also know people in your new city as well. It’s worth trying to find contacts this way, as it’s a super easy way to make a new pal in your new home.
Tip: If you regularly use social media, be sure to check and see if any of your online connections live in your new area as well. You may not have met them in person before, but these are people that you are already familiar with, which will make relationship building even easier.
Relocating can be very stressful. There’s no way around that truth. At some point, you will probably find yourself thinking that you’ve made a terrible choice. You have to be intentional with your thoughts when you become overwhelmed or lonely.
Remember to focus on all the positives that come with your new move. Perhaps you have been able to get a promotion because of your move? Or you’ve moved to an area with much nicer weather… it’s the little things, right? Or maybe now you’re much closer to family members that you hadn’t seen in a long time. There will always be negatives to point out. It’s up to you to find the positives and choose to focus on them.
Give it a Year
It’s a common belief that it takes a full year to settle into a new city. To overcome relocation remorse and to finally start to feel like your new city is your new home. After a year, you will have experienced all four seasons in your new home. You will have established yourself at work and maybe even met one or two friends along the way. If nothing else, you will be able to say that you overcame your fears and made a major move. You experienced something new and explored life in a new place… and you may end up absolutely loving it!