Fodder for Thought · Journal · Opinion

On Making A New City Your Home

After moving to 4 different cities in the past year and half, here are my tips on how to adjust to life a new place:

1. Talk to strangers. And tell them you’re not from here. At best, they’ll offer to show you around, at worst they’ll seem uninterested. At least there is a potential to have a more than surface-level conversation.

2. Explore the neighborhood. Walk around the neighborhood you live in, just to know what’s there. Do this alone, or do this with a friend. I also enjoy biking, and I don’t understand the different neighborhoods or the lay of the land until I go on a nice long bike ride winding through it all.

3. Find your favorites. It’s important to try a variety of the local restaurants (Yelp or just asking someone for a recommendation is the best way to find out). Pick your favorite coffee shop, your favorite dinner spot, your favorite bar, and your favorite weekend brunch spot and go there often. This helps create a sense of familiarity, and you’ll really know you’ve made it when the barista remembers your order.

4. Do the touristy things. Don’t forget that you are new to a city, and every city has interesting offerings – museums, sporting arenas, viewpoints, parks, sculptures, music venues, historical sites. Enjoy ’em! (A great way to find and do this for cheap is using Groupon!)

5. Shop. You don’t have to buy anything, but go to local shops. Find a bookstore, a vintage clothing store, knick-knacks. You’ll be surprised at all the stuff that is there, and the characters that work behind the register. 

6. Decorate your home with art and plants. Bringing life into your space, and making it your sanctuary will help cope with feelings on homesickness or loneliness. Get some type of sound-system, so you can truly enjoy being home.

7. Cook in your kitchen. Going out is fun and important, but maybe even more important is breaking in your new home and making it smell like you. Make that breakfast burrito, bake them cookies, and sautee them veggies.

8. Go to community events – a parade, a rally, a speech, a festival, a craft fair. Seeing other people out in the community and enjoying themselves will just make you feel good.

9. Sign up for a class – whether you’re into yoga, pottery, Chinese, or cooking, find something to be interested in and be interested in with other people. There are private companies, but also usually community college courses you can enroll in.

10. Keep trying new things. Give yourself an attainable goal – go to one new place a week (be it a restaurant or shop), talk to one new person a week. Keep it feeling fresh by being curious and doing things.

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One thought on “On Making A New City Your Home

  1. Looking forward to staying in touch via your blog, Jackie! Glad you’re doing so well! Happy to say that I am too, and am enjoying a lot of what you outline here in Seattle.

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