Moving to a new town could be an exciting experience, but at the same time it can be rather stressful and even a bit scary to some, especially if it is your first time living on your own, moving to a completely new country and starting a placement in a few days or so. That is completely normal and it can happen to anyone. Everybody goes through such a phase, whether it is a few days, a week or even a month. No matter if it’s your first or fifth move, it can always be hard to pack all your belongings and send off to an unknown location. This could leave you feeling a bit anxious, in order to avoid that, down below, we have suggested several things you could do to get used to your new placement town more easily.
Before moving there:
– Do your research.
Research is probably the first thing that everyone thinks of doing before they move to a new place. The easiest and fastest way is, you guessed it, the internet. There are loads of ways to research a town online. The most typical include going on Google, Tripadvisor, official tourism websites of the desired location etc. Think like a tourist – basically do what you do when you are preparing for a vacation (but a longer one) in a foreign city or country. You could even check out Facebook and Twitter. A lot of towns and areas nowadays have pages and accounts, where they advertise local events and other fun things to do.
If for some reason you do not have an access to Internet, visitors and tourists’ centres are great for asking some questions and there you will actually be able to get more accurate replies. In addition to that, all of the information you might need about the area is all there. You just need to say what you need and they will provide you with whatever they have about that. Pretty easy right?
There is also the option of going old-school and getting yourself a book travel guide, however this could be a bit tricky as there aren’t ones available for every town and some might not be easily accessible, too expensive or outdated.
– Reach out.
A great way to get more information on a town and its quirky features, is to get in touch with people with inside knowledge. That includes anyone who is living there, has lived there, knows someone who lives there etc. You never know from where you could get helpful information about the area and people you can get in touch with there. It might be a childhood friend, a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, a brief acquaintance you made a few months ago or even some distant family relative. Any kind of contact would be better than nothing. So before moving to your new town, make sure to get in touch with family and friends to check if anyone has connections there or in a nearby area. You can also check out if there are any local Facebook groups, blogs or forums you could join and make connections. By doing this you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have about the new destination, from stuff like local attractions, good spots to hang out to areas you might want to avoid and convenient transportation etc.
After you make the move:
– Explore the area.
After you have done your research and have gotten first-hand advice for people you were able to reach, it’s time to put on some comfy shoes and go out exploring. This will really give you a taste of your new home. Usually a good idea is to start from the centre of the town and make your way from there. Check out all of the more important locations you would like to see (don’t worry, you can visit the others on another day, they aren’t going anywhere, are they?). Find out where all of the points of interest to you are and the quickest way to get there. This will probably not happen on the first day as it is something that gets easier with time. Before you know you it, you will know the town like the back of your hand (if you get out enough of course).
– Go out and meet the locals.
Besides doing research on your own and going out exploring the area, a big part of getting to know your new town, after you have moved in, is meeting and getting to know the locals face to face. This rather important as these people have been there longer than you have, some of them maybe even their whole life, so they are most definitely bound to know the area better than you. They know where all the cool places are so to speak – bars, restaurants, entertainment venues etc. Their knowledge could be very useful to you so do make sure you make some connections with them. In the end, you never know, in your attempt to gather first-hand information about the town, you gained a new friend. Of course not everyone is so sociable, however, once in a while going out and meeting with the locals is a good way to get yourself a bit more familiar and comfortable with the whole vibe of the place.
– Check out local restaurants and cafes.
If you are not the shy type (even if you are, brace yourself and do it), visit local restaurants or cafes. Usually during the first days after you have moved, you are likely to not be in the mood of cooking, therefore going out for a meal is the thing that comes to mind (besides take out, but that is not as sociable and engaging as the other option). This one of the best ways to get to know your new town. Majority of the local people will be going there regularly, especially if it’s a smaller town, which provides you with an excellent opportunities to introduce yourself to someone and get to know them. One tip here, pay attention not only to the other clients, but to the staff as well. Remembering your servers will eventually create a bond between you and them, which would most definitely make you feel more welcome and comfortable with the new surroundings.
– Join clubs.
Joining clubs is an excellent way to find like-minded people in a new place. For example, you might be a really into fitness then a good idea is to join the local gym. There you will most undoubtedly meet other sport junkies like yourself and boom there you go some new mates to go out and explore your new area. Becoming a volunteer is also a good way to interact with people and get into the local community. The variety of these would probably depend on the town you are placed at. Obviously smaller places will have less options as opposed to bigger cities.
– Attend local festivals and other events.
Nowadays, most cities have some kind of an event happening. Whether it is a big one or a small one it doesn’t matter, they are all great opportunities to go out, explore and make new acquaintances. Plus that, it is usually super fun and exciting attending such events. These can include weekly food markets, any kinds of festivals, Christmas markets, carnivals, sports events etc. The opportunities are limitless, just depends on what you are into.
– Take your time.
Do not rush in to things. It is so tempting to want to hit the ground running the moment you move in. Getting used to a new place is not as easy as one might think, it takes time. If you go with a head in first approach, at one point you might become overwhelmed by all the new things you want to do and end up not knowing where to start. Just take a moment and think. You would want to relax and take it easy, especially if your placement start date is just around the corner (once you start, you realise how precious relaxation time is). You will most definitely have time explore and do the majority of the wonderful things you want to do. Remember to appreciate the amazing adventure you are on and enjoy every moment of it.