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Navigating a New Place

Updated: Dec 26, 2022

All my life I’ve grown up traveling and moving from place to place with my mother. When I turned 18 and graduated I decided to move to Alabama to be with my boyfriend. That was my first big move to an unfamiliar city but I had him, his family, plus a few close family friends living in the area. Recently that relationship ended, and I decided to pick up everything and start a brand new chapter. It's crazy how life works. This new chapter takes place in Arizona in a town I once lived in several years ago. I have come full circle, and it's surreal to be back around a few of my old friends from middle school and in the same town where my mother and I lived 10 years ago for two years before we took our adventures to Virginia. But that’s a story for another time. The tips I want to share for this post are about moving to a new place alone and how I have been navigating it.

Here are a few things I learned throughout my moves on how I adjust and make a new town feel like home…

Find places where you enjoy spending time that make you feel happy:

To me, these places are, coffee shops, art galleries, parks or places with nature, yoga studios, and cute local stores. Whether I’m moving somewhere new or just traveling, I always search for these kinds of places. Research your new town and search for places that make you feel happy, whether that may be book stores, hiking trails, video game stores, bars, the gym, or restaurants. Having places that make you feel happy will make your adjustment easier. It certainly has for me.

Put yourself out there:

Learn about your local community and socialize with the people in it. Your community may be the school you attend, the gym or yoga studio where you work out, or a restaurant or coffee shop you like to visit. The people surrounding you at these places most likely share some common interests which can be a great start to a friendship. Another way you can put yourself out there is by complimenting people you think would match your vibe. It may seem silly and/or scary. I know for me I have to build up the confidence to approach new people, but once I do, nothing can stop me. I have noticed, however, that a good way to start a conversation is by letting someone know if you like their tattoos, makeup, fashion, or hair color.

Find places where you can apply your passions or hobbies:

Joining local clubs that share your hobbies, interests, or passions can be a good way to meet and surround yourself with people who have the same interests. For me, I am constantly asking local coffee shops or art galleries about hanging up my art or if there are any upcoming art shows I can participate in. I recently went to a pop-up art show with live music and all sorts of different art and artists. It was such a good time and the perfect opportunity to meet people with common interests and to ask about displaying my art in the next show. The good news is, that I made two new friends and got a spot in the next art show, which of course I'm going to blog about. Another thing I tend to do is hang out at the cute little coffee shops I have found and write my blog posts, work on my art, journal, or simply be present out in the world in an environment that makes me happy where I can do the things I'm passionate about. Doing these things makes me feel so much more content.

Do the little things that bring you joy:

The little things make it all come together and make you feel at home. Some of the little things I do to make myself feel happy through a tough transition are: buy myself flowers, journal at coffee shops, people watch, spend time with my cats, relax in my hammock, spend time outdoors, work on my art, shop at the local shops I have found, and send my family or friends care packages. Try to figure out what the little things are that you can do for yourself.

Moving to an unfamiliar town alone is taking a leap of faith and is also an adjustment. So be kind to yourself through this process and take it day by day. Soon enough you will have friends, know all the cute and unique places, and your new town will feel like home.

love, bliss, & strength,

Anna Grace

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