How to Acclimatize to a New City

When our parents were our age, it was normal for people to remain in their hometown for their entire lives. Whether they were born in a city or a small town, people tended to stay put, marrying people that they grew up with, and working in local businesses or industries.

Now, it’s becoming the new norm for people to move around — either for a job, or for a new relationship, or just for a change of scenery. Moving to a brand-new place can be a big adjustment, and it might take a while to acclimatize to your new surroundings. Here are a few tips that we’ve come up with to help you thrive in your new home.

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    1. Unpack

    The most important thing to do when you arrive in a new city is unpack. Even if you’re only arriving with a single suitcase, take the time to lay out your possessions, finding places for everything, and taking note of anything that you may need to purchase.

    Living out of boxes can make anyone feel transient. Creating your own space, no matter how small, is an important step in adjusting to your new locale. Putting up mementos will remind you of people who may not be with you in your new city, but be careful of being too nostalgic. It’s important to stay optimistic and forward-thinking!

    Hadrian / Shutterstock

    2. Pretend to be a tourist

    One strategy that people sometimes use when adjusting to a new city is to act like a tourist. With travel blogging all the rage these days, it’s easy to find someone who has explored your city and handpicked some locations for you to visit.


    Go to the library and pick up a guide book, or simply search out some local bloggers and find a few that you enjoy reading. These people have put tons of time and effort into figuring out what restaurants, local businesses, and attractions make this city a fun place to live.

    Going around with a guidebook or a list will help help structure your exploration.

    Jacob Lund / Shutterstock

    3. Walk

    Even if you’re moving somewhere that requires a car, try and get out, and walk as much as possible. There’s no better way to get to know a new city than by going on foot. You notice so many more things than you would if you just drove past.

    Walking also gives you a good sense of your new city’s pace. Is it a place where everyone is hurrying to get home, or are there plenty of people sitting and relaxing with friends?

    Kuba Barzycki / Shutterstock

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