How to make a new city feel like home

For many, gone are the days of putting down roots in one place and building on them for life. Increasingly, the best opportunities present themselves with a move to a completely different city, perhaps even in a different country. Whilst the new opportunity beckons, how can you ensure that your new city feels like home as soon as possible?

Acknowledge that relocation is tough

As you move to a new city, perhaps for a new job, or a new relationship, the air will be filled with congratulations and even perhaps the odd green-eyed monster. Relocation is seen as exciting, inspiring, and all things good.

However, this fails to acknowledge that some parts of relocation are tough. Moving house and setting up is logistically and practically burdensome. Starting a new job can require long hours and steep learning curves. Whilst it is undoubtedly exciting, acknowledge to yourself, and those who care about you, that it also has its difficult side. You are likely, at times, to feel tired, overwhelmed, or stressed – it’s normal.

Home sits comfortably with routine

Stop and think about what makes somewhere feel like home. It’s familiarity which is at the root of the feeling of comfort and homeliness. Therefore, it’s time to start building structure and routine into your new life.

It’s time to hunt down your new favourite coffee shop, park, and even a supermarket! Build a new routine around these places and the familiarity will grow. With growing familiarity will come a sense of feeling ‘at home’, especially as you become a familiar face to others in the area too.

Build your network

No doubt you haven’t walked away from your old friendships, but you’re also going to need some new ones to feel at home in a new place. Networking for work is important to become quickly acclimatised and accepted. The same is true for your social life.

The good thing about city living is that there is always a mobile element with newcomers just like you. This means there will be opportunities for friendships if you head to the right places. Pick up old hobbies in new locations and friendships will come more naturally. Give it time, persevere, and don’t give up at your first social hurdle!

Don’t lose touch

It’s easy, with the busy-ness of life, to lose touch with your old ‘home’ and connections. Then, when you feel like you need that connection, too much time has passed. In reality, as long as it isn’t stopping you laying new foundations in your new city, call your old friends, eat at familiar restaurants, and invite people to stay. If you’re ‘homesick’ acknowledge it, and then keep persevering.

If you find you’re relying solely on past links then it’s probably too much, but don’t shun them altogether. It’s useful support.

But stand on your own two feet

Starting afresh in a new place is an opportunity to prove to yourself you can have the ability to do anything you want to. This boosts your confidence. Therefore grasp the change as an opportunity. In a new place, it’s almost easier to do things alone. There’s no one to bump in to or make judgments, so if you want to do something, do it, and don’t hold back.

Say yes

You may have two left feet for dancing, or haven’t tried pottery since your collapsed disaster at school, but if someone invites you along to something say ‘yes’. You’re not signing up to the forever, but instead, this could be a way into finding your own tribe. You lose nothing by giving something, or someone, a go – you never know what doors they may open.

Use your feet

The problem with cities is that you tend to figure out your public transport to just a few places and you don’t really have much idea of what’s in between or where you are in the greater scheme of the landscape. Yes, figure out your public transport route to work, but also take a walk. Get to know your new local area from ground level.

If you’ve moved to a new city, embrace the change. Start laying down your roots and soon it will feel like home.