It wasn’t too long ago that I moved to Edinburgh alone to start my career. Yes it wasn’t too far from home in Northern Ireland, but still brought its challenges! So many of my friends have made the leap even further abroad and some of my new friends are moving on from Edinburgh so we started sharing our experiences of moving to a new place and exploring a city for the first time. It’s scary and exciting, here are some of the things I would share with people who are about to make a new move.
1. Go out by yourself
When I first moved to Edinburgh, it was the Fringe Festival – one of the best times of the year to be in the city and I didn’t want to miss out. I hadn’t made any friends yet so my only option was to go out by myself! I had some of my best nights in Edinburgh during this time and meeting people from all over the world and exploring together. The key is not to have your expectations too high, if you don’t end up meeting anyone that’s okay. If you act confident by yourself, you’re grand (– even if you’re not 100% confident inside!)
2. Social meet up groups
There is lots of different social groups around the world you can join to meet people in a new city. For example Meetups is in many cities in UK, organising events for different interests and hobbies - there is something for everyone.
I recently discovered Citysocializer, a great app to help you meet friendly locals who are up for fun things – simple! You can sign up for the free version or if you fancy the premium version you can get 20% off with the discount code “clarity20”.
3. Don’t rely on just work friends
I have always been about the extra-curricular activities throughout my adolescence and this still holds true today. I joined a theatre group, netball team and salsa club when moving to Edinburgh and this has given me some of my closest friends in the city. If you are not a hobby addict like me at least try one to test the water, if you don’t like it after a month or two – try something else! Joining different activities ensures you don’t solely rely on work friends for your social life, which for me is really important.
4. Give yourself time
Don’t be disheartened if you haven't settled in after a week, 3 weeks, 6 weeks or even 10 weeks! Give yourself a break if you are not finding your feet straight away these things take time. Even when you have settled in, there still may be days you feel lost or missing home but this is completely normal. A big portion of your life is the people so make sure you are pushing yourself to go meet them, but don’t be expecting to meet soulmate best friends as soon as you arrive.
5.Don’t forget about the people you left behind (…..but maybe some)
When you move to a new place it is easy to get caught up with meeting new people, going out and settling in. Don’t forget about the best friends you made in your last destination, make a point of scheduling in Skype dates and when you remember to reply to them – reply to them! Or it will go out of your head again (sorry Ash).
At the same time, if you are one to move around a lot you will have friends all over the world. Don’t worry if some of these friends naturally drop off your priority list – some friends are okay to just belong to a certain chapter of your life.
I love the adventure of moving to a new city and hope you make the most of your new adventure whenever it may be!
If you have any other tips on moving to a new city please do share, I would love to hear them.