10 Tips On Moving From A Small Town To Big City

When you move from a small town to a big city it can be overwhelming, these 10 tips on moving from a small town to a big city will help you with your move. Fear not, these ten tips will help you make the best transition possible.

  1. Research before you move. It’s important to know the culture that you are moving into. Do research online and find out about school systems, population, parking, weather, transportation (public transportation versus private) and laws that are native to that area. If you can, visit a city before moving and connect with someone who lived there before. These options will provide you with first-hand experience.
  2. Have a plan. Don’t jump into a move blindly. Get things like insurance, housing and jobs in order before you move. Find an apartment before you move. Some tenants in large cities need at least two weeks for processing. 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 extra money available to you in case of emergencies and unforeseen expenses.
  3. Get involved. If there are things you like to do in your town, find ways to do those things in the city. The clubs you enjoy should be available in the city. Try new things. The city has a variety of activities to offer that didn’t exist in your old town. You may find something that you enjoy. Volunteer. Big cities offer so many chances to get plugged in to the needs around you. Find one that you’d like to be part of and serve.
  4. Meet people. Meeting people in a big city can be intimidating. The best way to meet people is to be intentional. Get involved (see #4), go explore (see #6) and introduce yourself to your neighbors. Be where the people are. You won’t meet anyone from your couch.  
  5. Be wise with money. City life is expensive. Everything costs more: food, insurance, clothes, rent. Make sure that you are careful how you spend and know where your money is going. It’s easy to get sidetracked with spending in cities with a lot to offer.
  6. Explore the city. Buy a map with detailed streets and subway routes. Start small by finding the fastest, longest, easiest, busiest routes to and from frequently visited places to master the commute. Learn the basic important places nearest to your destinations: police and fire stations, hospitals, banks, grocery stores, etc. Don’t be afraid to get lost—if you can find your way back then you are making progress.
  7. Don’t be a tourist. There is so much to do in a big city. It can be overwhelming and exhausting. Make a list that will help you do it all. Try doing two things a month: one free thing and one that costs money. When you make friends in the city, ask them to take you to places that they enjoy. There’s a lot to discover; if you live in a city, you don’t have to do it all one week.
  8. Carry cash. It’s always a great idea to carry a small amount of cash with you. If you get lost or stranded somewhere, this money can be the cab ride home. You may be surprised to find that some local vendors don’t take cards. Change, even in a small amount such as a dollar, can be helpful if a cell phone dies, loses service or you need change for a meter.
  9. Be yourself. Some people see moving as a chance to reinvent yourself but moving shouldn’t change who you are. You will still be the same person. The same things will make you cry, laugh and angry. Embrace who you are and discover how you fit in the new city. People will respect you for it. 
  10. Have fun. There are so many things that you will learn from this transition! Embrace every opportunity to do new things. Those moments will stick with you and you’ll be glad you left the small town and moved to the big city.
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