30 Sep 2019
If you’ve moved to a new city, no matter how temporary, then it is easy to be apprehensive and lonely, but you don’t have to fear. Follow our steps below to figure out how to fit right in and feel right at home!
Learn the Language
Before you leave, you should try to learn some of the language. Take an intensive course or try out Duolingo, but it will make the settling in so much easier, and all the locals will appreciate your effort! This is probably the hardest step, but will allow you to meet so many new people!
Once you get there, talk to the locals and figure out the slang. There will be regional differences, and can help you from falling into a linguistic mix-up! This one takes practice – listening and talking with other locals.
However, even if you struggle, there are plenty of ways to communicate without words. A smile speaks a thousand words, charades is popular over the world, and sharing snacks will instantly bond you with everyone around you. If you’re looking for something more personal, consider doing an activity together, such as dance, cooking or sports!
Figure out money
Hopefully, you should know the local currency, but take the time to withdraw some cash for places where they don’t accept credit card. Once you get there, you can figure out if you need more or less cash than expected. If you’re there long-term, then consider opening a local bank account to stop exchange fees.
Bring Some Home Comforts
Bring something from home that makes you relaxed will help turn your new house into something that feels like home. This could be photos, bedding, posters, toys, a certain china set. This one will change the most depending on how long you are going to stay but can help with any feelings of loneliness.
Learn Their Politics
Politics can be divisive, and may drastically affect who hangs out with you. It will also help you understand more of the local culture, so brush up on the systems, the parties, and the major current figures. If you’re going to be living there, you need to invest in politics as well.
Read the Paper
This step will help with the above, but it will also show local events, news, cultural personalities, community interests and worries. Reading the newspaper will help provide an insight into the local mindset, and may help you find out about nearby gems. Even if you haven’t mastered the language, there will often be English version online, so there’s no excuse!
Explore like a tourist
Even if you’re going to be someplace long-term, explore the city as a tourist. This will help you get accustomed to everything early on, from the layout, the culture, popular areas, and the like. This will also help you to avoid the seedier tourist areas in the future, and provide better advice for anyone who’ll come to visit you!
Get local transport
How does everyone else travel? Bike, car, rickshaw? When are the rush hours, and what paths do they block off? Figure this out before you have to move around the city regularly, and it will help you make sure that your journeys are smoother in the future.
Living locally means you should eat locally, not just at the places that remind you of home (though those are allowed in moderation as well!) Explore the quieter streets, find a favourite coffee shop, interact with vendors and enjoy the local cuisine. It’s often tastier and made with more love than bigger chain places.
Become a regular
Whilst trying something new is exciting and delicious, it can also get expensive and exhausting. Consider picking a café or bar that you really liked and going there on a regular basis. Talk to the other regulars and staff, create a routine, which will help you feel more settled into the location. You might also end up as someone the staff recognise, which always comes with its own benefits (as long as it’s a good legacy).
Watch for flyers for local events, visit the parks, take advantage of local environments. These activities can all help you relax and will help you gain your bearings. Consider joining local societies, clubs, volunteering or community centres, as these will help you make friends and do something in your spare time.
Invite friends or family around and stun them with how much you’ve learnt of the area. Invite friends that you’ve made since arriving and build those connections further. Inviting people round for a coffee or meal is the perfect socialising activity and can help build those relationships.
At first, you will be new, an outsider, or different. This can feel very off-putting and ostracising, but embrace it, and it’ll help you avoid future embarrassment. Struggle with the language now and it will help you master it later, rather than never trying. Being authentic with your experience can help build trust. Showing people vulnerability can also inspire some amazing acts of assistance, which you’d never have received if you were too prideful.
Hopefully, these tips will help you as you move or travel to a new place so that you’ll feel at home in no time! As you move, consider our self-storage facilities for things that you cant take, and consider our moving expertise as you move abroad.