Hello, dear reader. First off: Happy New Year. I know it’s been a while since I have made post, but this is the reason why: I moved across the country. The second half of 2018 was just a whirlwind of good, bad, and everything in-between. It’s been a few months in this new city and I am still adjusting. A move of this magnitude is never easy for anyone. Here’s what I have learned from the last few months since being here:
Making friends in a new city is a challenge.
When I was in New York, I was fortunate to have friends from college and even former coworkers that I became close with. Making friends as an adult is challenging enough as it is. I know a few people from high school and what not in this new city, but they are definitely from my past. The best way to meet new people is to take up a hobby, for example a workout class or join a club. I know this is the answer and I will admit, I have yet to do those activities. A friend I do have here said she used Bumble BFF and I met one of the girls she connected with through the app. It turned out we all had a lot in common and plenty to talk about. Technology is such a gamechanger.
Cities can be tough to navigate without a car.
Usually people who move to other cities, especially bigger ones, have a hard time adjusting to relying on public transportation, but I feel like I have the opposite problem: I’m having a hard time adjusting to a city where you need a car. Coming in from New York, I have gotten used to walking and taking the subway, but in a more spread out city it can be challenging to run specific errands. For example, the closest grocery store to me is 1 mile away. Have I walked there? Yes, and it’s even up a steep hill. The buses are not terrible, but not always reliable, which is why I prefer to walk. In general I have to be more tactical about where I need to run certain errands, but most times I end up opting to ordering online (thank you, Amazon Prime).
Keeping in touch with friends is still possible.
I’m so thankful that I was able to make friends as an adult with people who still make an effort to keep in touch. I even video chat with a couple of them once a month and we text every day. There are those friends who you don’t need to talk to for a while and when you see each other it’s fine, but if you establish common ground with people like a TV show or musician, it’s nice to check in once in a while to talk about it. In my experience, the best friendships are the ones where you don’t dwell on reminiscing about parts of your past, but rather the ones who constantly evolve with you. I have a lot of thoughts about friendships and maybe one day I’ll do an in-depth post about it.
People will help you if you ask.
I cannot tell you how many people truly surprised me in how much they helped me and my boyfriend out. A couple of friends helped us mail out boxes and clean up our apartment the day before we moved out; another lent us her air mattress; another gave good advice about finding an apartment in this city. You can really see who has your back and has good intentions when you’re in a bind—all you have to do is ask for help.
Find one or two go-to places and the rest will fall into place.
I still do not know what’s really good in this new city I’m in food-wise, but I do know I have a couple of go-to spots that I can rely on—particularly lunch places. These are the places I know I can count on, but they’re also jumping off points for me to find new eateries. I’ll be honest, I have also had bad experiences at some restaurants here. The good thing about that is I’ve made more of a conscious effort to eat at home and cook, which I never did as often as I should’ve in New York, and as a result I’ve been saving money. So yes, these one or two places are great to rely on because you know you can trust that it will be worth your money if you really want to eat out, or you could just eat in and treat yourself to a meal there on occasion.
Just because you moved doesn’t mean you have to stay there forever.
My boyfriend grew up moving around because his dad was in the military, and I think I have learned to adopt that mentality. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith to see if it is a good fit. Moving across the country was a scary decision because it felt like I was stepping into the unknown. I’ll be honest too, I know any city I go to I will always compare to New York because I feel like that’s where I grew up from being a teenager to an adult. Who’s to say I can’t try to move back someday if I wanted to? Sometimes in life we make bold decisions and sometimes it’s hard to tell if it’s the right one, but the most important thing is what you can make of your experience and what you can learn from your new environment.