Moving away from a town where you’re comfortable, to a new city can be a daunting and shocking experience. When you move you suddenly find yourself in a place where you probably don’t know anyone, don’t know where anything is, and find your stress level reaching the breaking point. And on top of that, trying to choose the right moving services adds an additional stress.

Fortunately, things do get better with time as you adjust to your new surroundings. You’ll eventually learn where the good markets are, and you’ll meet new friends and find fun things to do.

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the things you can do to make this transition easier and lessen your discomfort when you’ve moved to a new city.

Become an Adventurer

One thing we all do when we move to a new city is that we find ourselves sitting alone pining for our old friends and lamenting that we can’t go to our favorite hangouts anymore. While missing those things you enjoyed before is natural, and will continue for some time, there’s no reason you can’t venture out and explore.

When you go on an ‘adventure’ in your new city, make it a goal to find something new that you enjoy; this could be a new favorite restaurant, a new favorite coffee shop, a museum or even an out of the way used bookstore. The key is to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Have you ever tried Thai food? If not, now’s a great time to seek out the best Thai food in the city and give it a shot. Check the local events calendar and see what bands are playing or if there are any free activities to take part in.

A trick to keep in mind is to avoid the chain stores and search out the mom and pop shops that only the natives know about. Get out and don’t be afraid to ask one of the locals for their tips on the best places to eat or to hang out. Not only will you likely find some sites that can become your new favorites, but you’ll begin to get a sense of the layout of the town, which will help make you feel more at home.

Get Involved

It’s very difficult to make friends and find new social networks when you move to a new town; you’ve become so comfortable with your old friends, that making new ones can be challenging and somewhat frightening.

An excellent way to start making new friends and meeting people is to get into something. You could join a gym or a yoga class, which will help keep your stress levels down and allow you to meet new people in a safe environment.

Also, consider leveraging your interests and hobbies into ways to get involved with other people. Do you love to read? Most big cities have book clubs for virtually any genre that would love to have a new member with a fresh perspective. Do you like art? Consider taking some drawing or painting classes.

Maybe you enjoy serving others. If you do, there are bound to be organizations that are desperate for volunteers, especially in bigger cities.

The point is to marry your interests with activities that allow you to have fun, blow off some steam, and meet new people.

Take A Tour

If you’ve moved to a bigger city, then chances are there are the tourist attractions that outsiders flock to. Look on your city’s website or do some searching online to find out what tourist attractions exist in your new town and then visit them.

Even if you’re not in a city like Philadelphia with its rich history and tourist spots, you can find little out of the way places that make your town unique, even if it is the biggest ball of twine. The idea is to get out, have fun, and become more familiar with your surroundings. The more you know about your town, the easier it will be to become comfortable and the quicker it will begin to feel like home.

Create Habits & Routines

Chances are, when you lived in your former town, you had your routines you did every day, like going to the same coffee shop before work or going to the same car wash every Saturday. These routines help us feel settled, and it’s vital that you begin to develop new habits and routines in your new town to help you become more at home.

Find out if there’s a local park with a jogging trail and make a point to go on a jog every day. Find out if there are any fun clubs and make it a point to hit them up on Friday night to unwind. Or, find the best ice cream shop in town and indulge once a week.

Creating new routines will help you feel more at home, and more like you’re part of the city rather than just a resident. When you start taking possession of these places as in, “this is my pizza place,” or “my hang out,” it signifies that you’re becoming more comfortable in your new surroundings. So get out there and find your places!

Don’t Sweat It

Moving to a new town is going to be stressful, and no, you won’t start feeling at home right away. For some, it can take up to a year or more before they start feeling at home in a new city, so don’t sweat it if it takes a while. Whether you’re moving from an affordable town like Athens, Georgia to a new Dallas apartment; or from a busy city like New York, it’ll surely take time to get comfortable. 

The key is to set small, attainable goals for yourself and meet them. Set a goal to find a new restaurant on Saturday and then do it. Then, next week, set a goal to meet one new friend. Keep taking these baby steps and don’t expect instant results. If you focus on making and achieving these goals week in and week out, you’ll wake up one day and feel like this city is yours.