Leaving the wide-open spaces to make a name for yourself in the big city can be daunting. However, if you’ve decided to make a move, there’s truly no time like the present. The pandemic has caused rent prices to drop and vacancies to soar so that a luxury studio in, say, New York City or San Francisco is much more accessible than it used to be.
Of course, you’ll still want to plan and prepare for the big move. Here are a few ways you can make the transition easier.
Research Ahead of Time
Being prepared is crucial when you know you’ll be moving to a big city. You’ll want to become familiar with the major areas of town and consider which neighborhoods might be a good fit. Whether you’re looking to live in the center of town or a quieter street in the suburbs, some research will go a long way. Some things you’ll want to check into beforehand are:
- Housing options and the best places to live
- Employment options if you don’t have a job lined up
- Local laws and customs
- Climate and weather
If you know someone who lives or has lived there, they can be a great source of information. Otherwise, you can check websites and online forums such as livability.com and city-data.com.
Reading the local newspaper online and checking out the local news websites can help you prepare. If possible, tour the city ahead of time.
If you’re considering buying or renting a property, seeing it in person can tell you things you won’t find out with a virtual tour. Google Maps’s Street View can also show you what the area looks like.
Facebook groups can be good places to find locals. You might also come across groups for newcomers who can share their experiences and exchange tips and information.
Save Up Ahead of Time
Lower rent prices don’t necessarily mean that apartments or homes are cheap, however. Some can easily cost $3,000 or more per month, which might be a lot more than you’re used to rural rents. Therefore, it’s essential to save up some money before the big move.
Try to have at least six months’ worth of expenses in your bank account, especially if you won’t have a job immediately upon arriving. Doing so will also create a buffer in case you have to shell out more cash than you intended at the beginning.
You’ll also want to have a budget for unexpected expenses. Inevitably, when you move to a new space, you’ll need to run out for toilet paper, lightbulbs or a microwave on your first day. Don’t let yourself get shocked by first-day expenses.
Prepare for Tiny Living
Moving to a big city will also force you to downsize and embrace tiny living. While you may be paying more on your rent or mortgage, you’ll be working with less space overall. It may not make much sense, but you’ll have to prepare accordingly, even if that means donating or tossing many of your belongings.
If you do manage to snag a four-bedroom house, you may have little to no outdoor space. Will your dog be happy in a tiny yard? Is a garden a must-have for you? Asking yourself these hard questions will help you prepare both mentally and physically for small-scale living.
Prepare for Job Competition
If you’re moving to a big city to find your first job or a better job, you should know that it’s common for there to be hundreds of applicants to each job listing in many cities. Be prepared but not discouraged. Attend job fairs, look for free job placement services, and seek recommendations to get your resume noticed.
Get a Roomie
Making friends in the big city can be incredibly difficult, but it isn’t impossible. If you have a roommate, cultivating a vibrant social life is much easier. Enjoy a night on the town together or join a club and make new friends. Exploring new places together will also encourage you to do the same on your own, which can help you meet other people and become more comfortable going out alone.
Getting a roomie is also a brilliant way to split the cost of an apartment. If you have a friend back home with big dreams, invite them to join you on your grand adventure. Your shared experience of rural living will remind you that you aren’t the only country bumpkin trying to make it in the big city.
Prepare for a Faster Pace of Life
Compared to the countryside or a small town, everything can seem bigger in a city. The people move more quickly and may even talk faster than back home. Either you might get worn out, or you might get caught up in the hustle and bustle and commit to too many activities. Neither is a great option. Instead, gradually adapt to the new lifestyle and get some downtime whenever you need it.
Find Your Safe Space
Finding a safe space when the rest of the city becomes overwhelming is another excellent way to make moving to a big town easier. Look for a big, shady tree in the park or a cozy spot at the local coffee shop and go there when you need to decompress.
This simple act of creating safe spaces and small havens will help you carve out your own place in the city, so you don’t feel so small. Take ownership of your new home and find a spot or two that can feel familiar and comforting while you’re adjusting to a new stage of life.
But Try to Make New Friends
In the big city it’s too easy to become isolated. While some solitude is pleasant, don’t become a recluse. That will make the relocation more difficult and could lead to depression.
Instead, start making some friends in your new city. Join clubs and organizations that share your interests. Sign up for classes or sports leagues. Get to know your neighbors and colleagues at work. The point is to interact with people and get new experiences. Your new friends can also be excellent sources of information about the city.
Explore the City
Being in a strange city can be intimidating at first, especially if you’ve moved from a small town. But the best way to adjust is to get to know it. Explore your neighborhood, then spread out and look around other areas of the metropolis. Try new restaurants, visit museums and parks, and attend city events and festivals.
Just be careful – in nearly every city, there are places to visit and places to avoid, and some areas are okay during the day but not at night. Use common sense and stay aware of your surroundings.
Make Moving to a Big City Easier
It’ll take time to adjust and feel rooted in your new community, so be patient. Commit to this new way of life and give it your best shot. And, if it doesn’t work out, find peace in the fact that you can always move again.
Finding Help with Moving Professionals
We hope you found this blog post How to Make Moving to a Big City Easier useful. Be sure to check out our post How to Approach a Job Search When Moving to a New City for more great tips!
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