5 Ways To Finding Home In A New City
Finding your way in a new city is definitely far from easy. It’s overwhelming moving to foreign grounds where you don’t know the city or anyone in it. Especially coming from such a small town like I did, it’s easy to feel lost when there is so much going on around you and accepting that it’s impossible to see it all. But I think that’s the thrill of it. The excitement for all the endless possibilities and places to explore keeps me going. I spent the last few months of 2016 living in Barcelona, a city I had only visited a handful of times but instantly fell in love. After graduating from University I knew I wasn’t ready to settle and I was desperate to see more of the world. But as I moved into my new apartment and unpacked the last suitcase, I soon realised it wasn’t all happy dandy as I was expecting. I’m assuming like most people in my position it takes a while to settle, and the idea of a new life abroad slowly begins to sink in.
Fast-forward 3 months and I’ve had the most incredible time and met some amazing people that definitely shaped my experience. I wanted to share with you a few things I learnt over time about how to make a home away from home.
1.Your New Home
Never underestimate the importance of your living space! If you’re spending a long day at work you do not want to be coming home to somewhere that doesn’t make you happy. Surrounding yourself in a positive environment is the key to happiness so make sure you don’t just settle for anything. If you know you don’t like living with people then look for your own space, or on the other hand maybe you prefer having the company, so suss out potential roommates until you’re completely satisfied. Apartment hunting in a new city can be a nightmare, but it should also be something you’re excited for so start early and enjoy it. However rushed you may feel trying to sort your accommodation, you really might end up paying for it in the long run. Regardless of your budget or other restrictions, take your time until you find something that feels right.
2. Treat Yourself
Indulge in a few luxuries that make you happy every once in a while. Whilst some people love to shop and splurge, maybe you enjoy working out so consider investing in a gym membership? As you start to miss home, remind yourself of all the amazing things you have here and the little things that will make you happy.
3. Explore (on your own!)
Whilst it can be tempting to stay in and get comfortable in your new surroundings, it is equally as important to go out and make the most of your time in a foreign city. Even if don’t have someone to go on adventures with, find time during your weekends to do things that you really enjoy like visiting museums, going on long walks or shopping the markets. You’ll probably really start to enjoy doing things on your own and develop a level of independence that will make you more confident. I also found it really helpful to find places directly in your neighbourhood that you love and create a feeling of community. Find your favourite coffee shop where you can sit down and work, or just take in your new life.
4. Get Social
Instagram was my savour when it came to making friends and socialising. It will be lonely at first, but social media can be a great tool to find people in your area that you have something in common with. Especially within the fashion industry, there is a huge community in Barcelona that I was able to connect with at the touch of a button. Build up genuine relationships with people that you relate to, even before you go, and you’ll notice that your friendships will progress naturally once you’re there.
5. Trial and Error
Don’t expect to love everything at first. It will take time for you to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. Maybe living alone made you realise you actually get quite lonely and would rather have housemates. Or maybe you discover that you actually don’t like the city and want to live further out. It’s all part of the learning process, and even the worst of times are learning curves for a better life, discovering what you like and dislike.
I hope you are on your way to finding home in a new city and just remember to take it day by day. No two days will be the same!