A little over a week ago, I uprooted for the final time this summer (thank goodness!) and moved to a brand new city.
While I’m happy to finish the cycle of packing-relocating-unpacking-repeat for a while, moving to a brand new place with some sort of permanence can be a bit daunting.
There are definitely some things I never knew about moving to a new city, so for the sake of your future self that will inevitably make a similar move, here are my top five revelations:
1. Forget your old best friends, because Yelp is your new best friend.
Sorry to all my former best friends; you’ve been replaced by an app. Seriously though, in a new city, Yelp is going to be a lifesaver. Coffee close to you? Yelp’s got your back. Need to figure out which restaurant you should try? Yelp’s got you of course. Sick and need to find the closest doctor to you? YELP.
2. A physical map will be so beneficial.
As both a visual learner and extremely directionally challenged, maps are wonderful. Yet, sometimes digital maps get turned around, zoomed oddly, or become generally unhelpful. Because of this, obtaining a physical map of your new area will be so beneficial.
Keep it with you, hang it on your wall, or pull it out to review once in a while. You’ll learn the neighborhoods around you quickly, and you’ll start to become familiar with streets and driving directions. Being able to see your new turf at a glance and learn what surrounds you is going to serve you well in the long run.
3. Mapping out your staple places quickly will save you stress.
In your first three days of living in a new place, find a grocery store, coffee shop close to you, affordable restaurant, gym, and anything else you find yourself frequenting regularly. You can always change where you usually go later on, but having a staple location for anything you usually need right off the bat will save you SO much stress.
After all, you shouldn’t have to take 20 minutes to find a place to go get groceries when you’re already taking that much time finding everywhere else you’re trying to go.
4. Think about odd things, like air quality and sales tax.
Seriously, a new city brings with it a million little oddities that will suddenly become important. Should you open your windows on a certain day? Well, what’s the air quality rating that day? Which districts have higher sales tax? What is parking like in certain neighborhoods?
In a new city, it’s really all about the little things.
5. You’ll be overwhelmed with options.
Even as a former city dweller, I was totally unprepared for facing the onslaught of options a city of this size has to offer. Going from choosing the best of a couple options to having endless choices can be overwhelming. My advice may not be brilliantly illuminating, but it is effective: look through Yelp, and simply make a choice.
When you have a plethora of options, you just have to make a fast choice and remind yourself over and over that you won’t learn a new city in a day, week, or month. It will take time, but you have time and that’s a GOOD thing. Learning the ins and outs of a new place makes for a new adventure every day, and that is worth getting excited.
(Oh, and bonus tip: Becoming a good parallel parker will be a life saving skill, practically resume worthy.)