10 Ways to Adapt to a New City After You Move

A photo by Padurariu Alexandru. unsplash.com/photos/2UE1givDiPM

By Lianne Bell

Human beings can fear change; it’s all too easy to get stuck into the routine we call life. Before we know it, we’re suddenly afraid of anything that veers from the norm, but often, we require change to give our life a little zest. Moving towns, cities or countries can be both scary and daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Maybe we’re bored with our job, broken up with our boyfriend or girlfriend, or just sick of the same old scenery. If we embrace the change, it actually becomes rather exciting! Having lived in several different places around the world, here are my top tips for making friends in unfamiliar territory: 

1. Couch Surfing (The travel app.)

When I met two girls in Morocco who said they were couch surfing, I thought they were crazy, but they soon made me see the light. This travel app is free in iTunes and matches you with a host. It’s a cheap way to stay somewhere while you find your feet and get settled, and you have a tour guide to show you around. The settings allow you to search by gender so if you’re a woman on your own you can find women hosts if this makes you feel safer. Even if you don’t end up staying with anyone, I would still recommend it as a way to meet likeminded people in the local area. Everyone I’ve met on there is super lovely and hosts use it as a way to meet people from different walks of life and various cultures.


2. Join a group workout, like Crossfit.

Ok, some people think Crossfit is a bit like a cult but it also happens to be the friendliest bunch of gym-goers you’ll ever meet with some seriously high spirited team morale. It’s not cheap, but if you’re not on a strict budget I would definitely recommend this. Due to the fact the workouts are in teams, you’ll have a new set of friends within the first week and you’ll be super fit too.


3. if you can, Get a job bartending or waiting tables.

For whatever reason, people that work in bars and restaurants always seem to be a really close knit bunch and are always lots of fun. They tend to hang out together and always seem to be very welcoming towards new people. You’ll also get to meet lots of local people through the customers you deal with.


4. Online dating.

Ah, the dreaded online dating. If you’re single and living in a new city then this could be a surefire way for you to meet someone special, or, at the very least, just have a dinner date for the evening. Just make sure a friend or family member has all the details of where you’re going, and who you’re meeting. You can never be too safe!


5. Facebook groups.

Social Media is truly a fabulous tool for geographical newbies. Pretty much every town in the world has it’s own Facebook group now if you search ‘Expats in (insert your new town or city)’ you will find a whole group of other people just like yourself who arrange social gatherings.


6. Find a friend of a friend.

Texting friends, cousins, or anyone else you know that has lived in the place you’re moving to and asking them if they know anyone there is always a good shout. You can also write a Facebook post saying you’ve moved to a certain place and ask friends to tag any friends they know that live there. Facebook makes you realize how small the world is, and I guarantee you’ll have at least one friend of a friend there who is happy to show you around.


7. Start a new hobby.

New city, new you! What better time to take up that hobby you’ve always wanted to do. Whether it’s learning a new language, taking up pottery, learning to horse ride, or surf, this is a great way to meet likeminded people with a common interest to you.


8. Go to a show

Despite what I thought when I was younger, it is totally acceptable to go to a show on your own. Depending on where you’ve moved to, there is a pretty good chance at least one of your favorite bands will be performing there at some point. It’s a good excuse to see them, and a better excuse to meet people who are into the same music.


9. One word: Dogs!

It’s almost like dog walkers are in some sort of secret society. It gives people a common interest to talk to one another, and it’s a real ice breaker. Obviously depending on where you’re moving and how long you’re planning on living there, it might not be an ideal time to get a dog, so there is always the option of dog walking. It’s easy to set up your own local dog business, or you can ask around for an established business. It’s also worth trying the local dog shelter as they always have an abundance of dogs that need TLC and walks.


 10. Volunteering

This is the perfect way to give back to the community while making some friends along the way. Local soup kitchens and shelters are always desperate for volunteers and a quick internet search will bring up the details for the ones in your local area.


Lianne is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. The views and opinions expressed in Contributing Writer articles reflect those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the site.

To apply to become a Contributing Writer, click HERE

{featured image via unsplash}

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