Moving from a small town or suburb to a large city, or an area you are not familiar with, can be an intimidating proposition. Here are a few tips to help make your move as painless as possible.
Research before you move. It’s important to understand the culture you’re joining. Do research online and find out about school systems, neighborhoods, parking, weather, public transportation, and laws that are native to that area. If you can, visit the area before moving and connect with someone who’s lived there before.
Have a plan. There are a lot of steps to go through before you start packing the moving truck. Find housing before you leave, or at least know where you’ll stay while you look for a home. Never sign a lease on an apartment that you haven’t seen. If you can’t get there, find a friend or an employer to check for you. Have a job waiting for you, or if that’s not possible, know what you’ll do for money in the first few weeks of living there. Try to line up things like driver’s licenses, car insurance, renter’s insurance, and parking passes ahead of time as well.
Get involved. Meeting people in a big city can be daunting. Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive: people’s lives are often too busy and hectic. Take the initiative. If there are things you liked to do in your last town, find ways to do those things in your new town. Try new things. Volunteer. New environments offer so many opportunities to engage other people, so find what you like!
Mind your wallet. Cost of living varies from State to State, city to city, and even town to town. You may find that everything is a bit more expensive. Wether it be food, insurance, clothes, or rent, be careful how you spend and know where your money is going!