6 Phases Of Adjusting To A New City

6 Phases Of Adjusting To A New City

It takes time to make a new home for yourself.


It’s moving day, and after all the heavy lifting, you wave goodbye to your helpers and take a moment to survey your new place. The scenery outside the window isn’t familiar. The first time you venture to the store, you’re not quite sure where you’re going, and you have to let Siri guide the way.

Those first few months fumbling through life-as-usual in a brand new city can be awkward, exciting, scary and liberating. It’s natural for the adjustment to take some time, and while the process is different for everyone, we all experience similar emotions as we adjust to our new homes.

1. Excitement

You’ve finally signed the lease and decided to make the move! You have your new place picked out, your moving date is set, and all of the logistics are in place. Whether it’s right in the heart of downtown or nestled in the quiet suburbs, you’re more than ready for a change of scenery.

Your new city will give you a fresh lease on life and the chance to explore a new place and a new side of you. Who knows the people you’ll meet, the places you’ll go, the things you’ll do? The possibilities are endless and your new city is a canvas where you can paint the next chapter of your life.

2. Fear

Wow- the day is finally here, and as you watch the welcome sign to your old town fade in the rearview mirror, the gravity of the move is starting to set in. What if you hate it in your new town? What if everything in your old town was better? What if you regret ever doing this at all? Moments of doubt are natural with any major life change.

Have faith in yourself and your ability to make this decision for your own well-being and happiness. Change enables us to grow, and even though it may seem scary, your fears will fade in time.

3. Loneliness

It’s been all of five minutes, so why haven’t you met your new best friends yet? Or, maybe it’s been a month or two, and you’re still struggling to find one person you connect with. Meaningful friendships take time. Be patient with yourself, but remember to put yourself out there. Getting involved in an organized activity, like a book club, religious group or volunteer organization will give you an opportunity to meet like-minded individuals.

If you can’t find the group for you, try starting one on your own. Or, invite your coworkers out for an after-work activity. Chances are, you’re not the only one out there hoping to meet a new friend, and someone might be waiting to meet a person just like you.

4. Adventure

It’s time to venture out into your new city and get the lay of the land. There’s that corner cafe you’ve always meant to try, the library down the road, or the shopping center a short drive into town. Take a weekend to meander the roads, hike to that picturesque picnic point and browse the local stores.

Your new city has its own unique history and culture, and now, you get to be a part of it. From town museums to resplendent monuments, your new city is rich with adventures waiting to happen - go out and chase them!

5. Familiarity

You’ve started to figure out some good places to eat, your favorite grocery store, and how to get home from work. You have a small map in your mind between all of these important places, but you’re not yet sure how they all fit into the bigger picture of where you are.

Slowly but surely, this place has crept its way into your heart. You start referring to your new city as “home” in casual conversation, but you still feel the need to explain that you’re not really from there. You’ve met a few new acquaintances, and you made tentative plans for trivia on Thursdays.

Maybe you might stay for a while. After all, you might miss this place if you left.

6. Home

You could give a stranger directions if they asked you how to go to the mall outside of town. You know the best views and the secret hideouts, and the roads to avoid during rush hour. You remember meeting your friends for coffee at the bistro a few blocks down, and you plan to stop by your local bookstore on Saturday. You have local events marked on your calendar – maybe you’re even helping set up for an outdoor concert or volunteering for a cause you care about.

Somewhere along the way, this city wormed its way into your heart and became a part of who you are. Now that you’ve found your new home, you know you would feel sad to leave, just like you were hesitant to leave your last city.

The fact that it might be hard to leave tells you you’ve found something worthwhile after all.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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