Many of us will experience packing and heading off to a new town, a new house and a new you. The feeling of being “new in town” is both a scary and exhilarating feeling. I got the chance to experience that feeling when I left the safety of a college community to move to bustling New York City where I knew no one…all within the span of a week.
Just like the approaching new year, moving to a new location is the perfect time to recreate yourself; try that one thing you have been meaning to do and build new relationships.
The key to quickly fitting into your new environment, while still enjoying the newness of it all – without settling or burning out – is to find the right balance between getting out of and staying in your comfort zone. For some, it may be 80% outside their comfort zone. For others, it may be closer to 30%.
Below are some ways I have found to get out and stay in my comfort zones (these are pretty global suggestions if you are in a decent-sized city):
To bust out of that zone:
- Go to events: Check out MeetUp, Eventbrite, Facebook and the internet.
- Volunteer: Help at a food bank or shelter, or sweat it out by pulling weeds at a nearby park.
- Take classes: I highly recommend social dance, where I not only made new friends, but also found something new I enjoy.
To stay comfortable:
- Read (or Netflix): Stay at home nursing a cup of hot chocolate or sit in a coffee shop with a nice ambience. To get started, check out Ready Player One (fiction) or Modern Romance (non-fiction).
- Spend time with familiar people: Visit your friends or family in town, or if you have none, give them a call (parents always appreciate a call).
- Do the thing you loved but find a new niche: As an avid home cook, I discovered a Cookbook Club where I not only got the chance to meet new people but can do so while skipping the small talk and going straight to enjoying and talking about food.
- Get into a daily life routine: Find the nearest grocery store and one or two dining places you can rely on for quick hunger fixes.
My final tip is to start early, giving yourself enough time to explore before finding your comfort zone. Enjoy the fresh new spaces (and faces) and the adventure of it all!