5 Things To Do When You Move To A New City

The other day I counted how many times I’ve moved house since I moved out of home. It’s well over 20! Within that I’ve lived in five different cities! Moving to a new city is not a walk in the park. Whatever the reason behind your move, uprooting your life - and perhaps the lives of your family members - can be difficult and disruptive. And for those who fear change, the move may present a bigger struggle than first anticipated, especially if you’re doing it on your own.

However, there’s no need to worry. There are things you can do to lessen the impact of the change and to help you to settle into your new city as quickly as possible. These include familiarising yourself with your new surroundings, getting involved in the community and actively building your social network.

If you’re moving to a new city in the near future, you should make it your mission to find your footing as soon as you can. Follow the below 5 tips and your move will be a smooth one. 

Discover your local area

The first thing you should do when you arrive in a new city is to discover the local area. Take time to walk around your neighbourhood, venture into the town centre, and familiarise yourself with your local supermarket, shops and cafes. 

If you’ve got time to spare, it may be a good idea to wander aimlessly without a map and see what you stumble upon. Doing this early on will mean that you will discover way more of your new city (way more than if you stick to your normal work commute and don’t venture out). You will likely discover new parks, coffee shops and cafes that you didn’t know existed, and these small comforts will help you to enjoy your new home.

Engage in community activities or join a club

One of the best ways to settle into a new city is to become an active member of the community. You can do this by joining community social clubs or a local gym and taking part in the activities on offer. Not only will this allow you to meet loads of new people but it will help to keep you occupied, and this is key if you’re making the move alone as too much free time can make adapting to change feel harder.

Look into social clubs in your area to find out exactly what’s on offer. From team leisure activities like walking, bowling, tennis, fishing and golf, to learning a new skill like photography or dance, there is always something on offer. Plus, being a member of a social club can also award you other benefits such as discounts at local cafes, restaurants, and more, which is another great way to get to know your area.

If joining a social club is not your cup of tea, look for fun local activities online or perhaps find others like you on social media. There will likely be a Facebook group for your local community, so introduce yourself!

Register with a doctor

Something else you should do in the first week that you arrive in a new city is to register at your local doctor’s surgery. It may be a chore, but you shouldn’t put it off. You don’t want to fall ill and then have a hard time seeing a doctor because you are not registered to any surgery. The same goes for registering to your local dentist surgery.

Ride the local transport

Similar to point no.1, exploring your new city on the local transport is advised early on. The better you know the location of your nearest bus stops as well as bus routes and train journeys, the more connected you will feel to your surroundings, and the easier you will find getting around.

Getting well-acquainted with the local transport will also help you to familiarise yourself with the price of local travel and teach you about any travel cards you may need to purchase. It is handy to have this sort of knowledge before you start your daily work commute.

Introduce yourself to your neighbours

One of the most daunting prospects about moving to a new city is not knowing anybody. Whether you’re moving alone or with other people, making a new city your home is largely down to the people you meet. If you’re starting a new job you can expect to meet a lot of your new colleagues, but you should also do your best to meet people outside of a work environment. 

Be sure to introduce yourself to your neighbours, or if you’re moving into shared accommodation you should make an effort to get to know the people you live with. During your first few weeks, you should make it a priority to build connections with those around you, and try to say “yes” to all social invites including drinks, coffee dates or even work get-togethers. The larger your social network is, the quicker you will settle into your new city and the more opportunities you will be presented with.

Settling into a new city requires you to put down roots as quickly as possible. Doing so will make you feel more comfortable, more relaxed and more at home.

By heeding the above tips - getting involved in your community, becoming a member of a social club, exploring your local area by foot or on local transport and taking advantage of social gatherings to build your network - you will won’t feel so lonely or isolated and will soon settle into a routine.

Good luck!