Last month, I celebrated my five-year anniversary of living in New York City. Unlike other places I lived, that seems to be a thing here. People remember the date they move and mark it as a milestone. I often liken living in New York to being in a relationship, so it makes sense to celebrate the day.
Moving here achieved a life-long dream of mine. It also was one of the hardest and bravest things I’ve ever done. I’m not alone.
Often in life, people find themselves starting over in a new city. Whether for a job, school, family or just a desire for new scenery, moving to a new city can bring all sorts of surprises, some good and some challenging.
Learning from my experience and experiences of those I know, here are a few things to consider if a move and restart are in your future.
It’s understandable that when you move, you may want to buy a home immediately. If all the stars align, then that might be the best decision for you. But, what are the “stars” in this case exactly?
Details that play in favor of purchasing a house before or shortly after your move include if you know the following:
- Knowing where in the city you want to live
- Having familiarity with the average cost of living in the city
- Working with a trusted and knowledgeable Realtor
- Being pre-approved with a mortgage lender who has your best interest in mind
- Finding a home that fits the needs of your family
With all these factors in place, buying a home right away might make perfect sense. That said, nothing is wrong with renting for a while. It can provide time you may need to save for a down payment and to better acquaint yourself with your new hometown.
Learn the areas of town you want to spend your time and what traffic is like in various parts of the city at different times (especially if it affects your commute to work). Being more familiar with your new city helps you make wiser decisions when committing to a new home.
Maybe you moved with a job in place. Perhaps your partner might need to find a new one. Possibly, you relocated in a bold attempt to completely restart (a lifequake, of sorts) and part of that includes a new job. Whatever the case, it’s important to be professionally ready.
Have your resume and LinkedIn profile up to date. Turning to local recruiting agencies can also help you find a position. Also remember, you can’t go wrong with good, old-fashioned networking. If you have a challenging time finding local professional organizations, Meetup.com might lead you to a great connection (it’s also great to find a place to practice your favorite hobby)! With the pandemic, so many networking opportunities are now online, you can even get a head start and make professional connections before you move!
Aside from the logistics of a new home, starting over in a new city presents challenges socially as well.
As you meet people and as opportunities present themselves, come from a place of “yes.” Without over booking your schedule and over extending your finances, try to accept each offer that presents itself.
As vaccines become more commonplace and restrictions begin to loosen, take advantage of what is offered. Go to the work happy hour. Accept your neighbor’s invitation to the backyard BBQ. Attend the outdoor yoga class you saw advertised on the coffee shop’s bulletin board.
Rarely in life do you have so many new experiences available to you at once. It’s part of the beauty of a new start, so say “yes” to as many of them as you can.
Sometimes, you have to *create* your opportunities. Making friends as an adult can seem a bit more awkward than when we were younger. As we go through life, people start to settle in their lives and routines.
Starting over in a new city forces you to shake up things a little, so use that time to take some initiative and pursue friendships. As they reopen, visit churches, synagogues, or other spiritual homes and introduce yourself to the members. See someone in a store with a shirt you like? Start a conversation.
Don’t be afraid to be the first to send a friend request on Facebook or follow on Instagram. Find a coffee shop, restaurant, or bar you like and go there frequently. Become a regular. You’ll get to know the staff and let them get to know you. Your best friend could work behind the counter.
Setting a routine with frequently visiting familiar spots can help make the new city feel more like home.
Wherever you go and whoever you meet, be yourself. Starting over in a new city helps you learn more about yourself. It also opens new doors, both inside yourself and the world around you. Through it all, remain true to who you are and who you want to be. That is the person everyone deserves to know.
In your new city, there are a lot achievements ahead of you for which you will be proud, and being true to yourself may be the best one of all. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.Ralph Waldo Emerson
New beginnings, new experiences, new challenges and new successes await. Encounter the adventures with strength and determination as you find exciting ways to make this new city your home!