If you have recently moved to a new city to take up an expat role, it is easy to get caught up with everything that must be done before and during the move. When you first arrive, you may have commitments with your new role but after a week or two, when things begin to calm down - what then? Particularly if you have moved to a larger city - where do you start when it comes to getting to know more than just your route to and from work?
We have some tips to help your new city feel like home in only a few weeks:
Research, research, research
Go for a walk
The best way to get to know a new city initially is to leave your home and go for a walk. Explore the streets, shops and transport near your home. Find a subway station. Where can you go on that line? Come across a park. What facilities does it have? All of this information will help you become more familiar with your new home.
Top tip: If you aren’t great with directions, pin your home on Google Maps before you leave, ensure your battery is charged and you can use your phone to direct you back!
Explore like a tourist
Live like a local
Once you have explored the city through a visitor’s eyes, really get to know the city by doing the things most of us do no matter where we live. What these things are will depend on your interests, but they may include:
- joining your local library
- joining a gym
- finding a farmer’s market
- finding a good cup of coffee
- finding a great cinema
- taking some photos
These practical ways to become more involved in your new city will help you build routine and over time become more familiar with your new city.
Last but by no means least, one of the trickiest elements of expat life is building a social network. Make this easier by becoming part of the community. Some expats join a local sports team, choir or book club. Becoming involved in your local community will also help you make friends outside of work, often a welcome break from high pressure expat roles.
Do not underestimate the time it takes to get to know and truly feel at home in a new city. It may take months but in time and with some effort, it will begin to feel like home.