5 nights. That’s how many nights I have already spent in my new apartment. 5 whole days I have been getting used to my new surroundings.
In this blogpost I will show you 5 tips on how to survive the first few days in a new city without feeling like you’re drowning … or without actually drowning.
Somehow it feels like it has been more than just 5 days. And somehow it feels like only a short glimpse.
However, in this time I have felt so many different emotions. I felt joy, pure happiness, sadness, anxiety. I was excited, confused, exhausted, tired and lonely. Let me tell you: I have cried, too.
All those emotions are very normal, if you ask me. The most important thing is: Always know that it is ok to feel everything. Let those emotions come, feel it all … and then let them go again. Don’t make the mistake thinking that you have to have it all figured out. That you should only feel happiness and act like you’re above it all.
Even though Munich is my hometown and I have lived here for almost my whole life (with a break of 8 years in between) there are still moments every day, where I feel like I am about to cry. Why? Because changes are hard, even though I love the change I am still only human.
Here is what I did to feel a little bit more at home.
(Or are you looking to find new friends? Read my last blogpost: click.)
Make a tour through your neighbourhood/greater area
How can you feel at home in an area, which you don’t know anything about? You can’t! What makes me feel at home is knowing where I can find everything.
Where can I buy my groceries? Where is the next drugstore? Is there a cute café around the corner? Where is the next bus station? Is there a lovely Italian restaurant a few blocks away?
The next time you have some hours off, take your bike or go by foot and explore your area. Don’t worry about feeling like a tourist. That is normal and this feeling will pass by quickly. Drive through every possible street and have a look at every corner.
I did that and guess what? Now I know where to get my bread in the morning. And can you believe it that there is a pharmacy right next door? Amazing!
Go people watch in a cafe
This is actually my favourite activity to do in any city, whether I am on vacation or just visiting a friend in their hometown. It will also help you to find your new favourite cafe.
People watching takes time and I’d say I spend at least 30 minutes up to an hour in a café if I want to do that.
- You’ll get a great impression of the vibes in the café and how the employees do their job. Are the other guests people you like to be around with?
- You will see many people passing by the café or grabbing a quick bite or meeting up with their friends. Some of those live right next door, some of them work around the corner. Others just love this café just as much as you might.
For me people watching gives me that weird feeling of belonging here. It shows me the different types of people who live close to me and could be possible friends (you never know!). They become more familiar and less strange to me.
BONUS N° 1: Even though those people are not your friends, you will feel a little less lonely around them. In the first few days, weeks or even month you might have a lack of real social contacts (at least I do), so being around people always makes me feel better.
BONUS N° 2: You can stare at all those super cute guys passing the café 😉 And believe me when I say that there are many of them here in Munich.
Attend events / classes
What’s an advantage of living in a big city? Almost every day – or at least every week – there is an event that you could go to to meet new people and to feel less lonely. It doesn’t have to be one of those super professional networking events. Going to an outdoor workout or visiting a Yoga class works just as fine. You can do something you love while being around other people. Who knows? Maybe you will meet some new friends there! (Click here to see 4 other ways to meet new people)
You will not feel at home soon if you don’t actually feel good in your own skin. Doing things that make you feel more comfortable in your own skin are so important. Even if they might cost you some money, it’ll be worth it. (Click here to read my IG post on finding the balance between spoiling yourself vs. saving money)
Here is a list of possibilities:
- Create a comfy atmosphere: decorate your apartment in a way that makes you feel soooo comfortable that you don’t even want to leave it again. Buy candels, a blanket, hang up some pictures.
- Do some Yoga and listen to some calming music
- Throw in a at home spa day: face mask, do your nails, take a bath
- Watch your favourite TV-Show: This might seem some counterintuitive at first. How will you feel at home in a new city if you do spend all day watching TV. First rule: don’t spend all hours on watching your show. But I you do feel down and in search for something comforting allow yourself to indulge in something that makes you forget your surroundings for a little bit.
- Eat all the good food that you like so much. Of course keep a health balance and don’t overindulge. And even if that happens, it is totally fine.
Outside of your apartment:
- Grab a drink (I would choose coffee) and go for a relaxing walk in fresh air. That helps you clear your thoughts and get some activity in.
- Go out for breakfast/lunch/dinner. You can totally do this on your own. You do not need another person to go out on your own.
- Book yourself a day spa day or just a single treatment.
Make a plan
It is super easy to get caught up in all those feelings I described in the beginning of this post. Which ones did you experience the most? When those feelings – especially the negative ones – take control over you it is hard to escape them and motivate yourself again to leave the house.
What to do so this doesn’t happen?
Make a pretty exact plan on how you are going to spend the majority of your time in the new city.
- What offers do you want to use that your old city did not have? Maybe those fitness classes that you can take anytime without being a member of some fancy club or studio.
- Are there any places/restaurants/shops that you would like to visit?
- Is there a gym that you want to take a try out day at?
- When are you going to explore your neighbourhood?
Make sure to always be active in a literal sense and to actively live and enjoy your life!