When You Move To A New City
Saturday, 8 October 2016
Today I wanted to write a post about my experiences moving to a new (unfamiliar) city. I'm living in Leiden now for about 7 months and I feel like I'm currently in the middle of a transitional phase: it's starting to feel more like home here now, and I don't go back to Utrecht as often as I did before and during summer. Moving to a new city, away from your friends and the familiar, can be daunting - so maybe some of my tips will help you settling in and feeling less anxious about a big move!
- Take it easy. Of course everyone's circumstances are different, but when I first moved here I had a few months of part-time work and three days a week to myself (more or less). I can't imagine if I would've moved in, say, August (right before uni would've started). In hindsight those few months were much needed. Not just to get used to a new home and a new city, but also to get used to living with my boyfriend! It's all such an adjustment period and it takes a lot of energy from you to settle. If you take this into account beforehand, and maybe take at least one day a week off, for instance, that will help your mindset sooo much to cope with all the changes that are going on.
- Wander without Google Maps. I'll admit that without my Maps app, I get practically nowhere. I have no sense of direction whatsoever, and only start to know a route if I've cycled//walked it about ten times. But if you have the time (and the balls!), I would highly suggest you turning that app off from time to time. Just see where that little street takes you and you'll be surprised at how much you start to recognise in a short amount of time. If I can do it, you can do it!
- Your social circle will change. I find that the older you get, the harder it is to make friends (I've written a whole other blogpost about this which I may upload some time, so I won't get too much into it here). On top of that, it doesn't help that you've just moved away from all of your loveliest friends. I don't know if I can give you the best advice on this, since I'm not sure if I have this one figured out yet. What I do think helps is the fact that I've started university here - and I'm not the only one who has moved to this city for this degree. It's fairly easy to strike up a conversation with a classmate and to see if we "click" on more levels than just academically. I suppose the same goes for starting a new job - and if you are doing neither, I think joining a gym or sports club is always a great way to see some new faces. Plus, you never know where the odd conversation in a pub or on the bus can lead to. I think as long as you're openminded and willing to put in the effort, you will meet new people one way or the other.
- It will take some time (but don't forget how exciting this time in your life is!). Yes, moving to somewhere new can suck sometimes. Trust me, I've had some feelings here and there doubting whether I'd made the right decision, and sometimes it even felt as if I was a bit "trapped" in my new house. I don't feel like that any more, though. It takes some time to make the city "yours", and to confidently point a tourist to the right direction on the street. That's okay. There will be days that you feel like you just want to go back to your safety net - and that's normal. But try not to hang on to those feelings too much and see this big change in your life as something exciting! After all, there's a whole new city or town for you to explore - with its churches, museums, shops, quirks and surprises. Now where shall we begin....?