Moving to a new city- a how to guide

It has been really quite on my blog lately. Scrolling through it I realise that my last post was from Summer 2018. Ok wow. A lot has happend in the meantime! First of all a warm welcome to my new blog! My beautiful best friend Finja and her team from Hejnola relaunced my whole blog.

There has been a lot of changes in the last two years,so I made change todays blog post topic. I finished my studies in Summer 2018, happy and exhausted that four intense years have been over. I am was happy and eager to conquer all my next adventures! The only thing I knew: I would move in with my partner and finally live in the same country again, after 6(!) years of long-distance relationship. Almost two years ago I moved to Hamburg and try to make it my new home ever since.

In this post I’d like to share my experiences and tipps on how to make make living in your new place easier. As for me it was an still is quite a process. This invloves effort, tears but also happy times. I don’t study anymore so working full time and trying to make new friends is a whole new challenge.

Accept your reverse culture shock

This term describes the process of someone who used to live in another place than his/her home country and moves back to this said place. I used to study and live in the Netherlands and moving back to Germany was a mission. I wouldn’t have expected it to be so hard to get used to your own culture. I realised my way of thinking, values and even way of talking became quite Dutch. And hey it still often is (Dutchies I miss you so much! Who would’ve known :D) And this is all normal and it’s ok too feel weird back among “your people” again. It took me 6 months to adress German people properly again with the polite version of greeting. You will get there and see it as a present since you became flexible in your way of thinking and living. No other words describe it as beautiful as this quote:

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”

Anita Desai- Indian Author

Get active – follow your hobbies or get one

It sounds lame and something that your parents would recommend to you: Follow your hobby and meet people while doing it. Find a sports or activity that you enjoy or want to try out and find classes or courses to do so. Yes it works I can confirm this. I go to the stables three times a week. This makes me feel grounded and deeply happy to be in nature and around my favourite animals and just like that you meet people in the stables, chat and go on outrides together. I can happily say that I found friends here that I also see outside the stables! 🙂 So go get out there and try something new in your new city!

Hang out with your co-workers & meet people via facebook

It probably depends on which cultural background you are coming from to now say: well duuuh this is obvious! Or ask yourself: well maybe this is an option. Coming back to Germany I quickly realised that here people tend to keep their work relationships apart from ther “private” relationships. Nevertheless I think lots of younger people are not feeling this vibe anymore and are happy to chill out with you after work or on the weekend. I mean you have 8 hours a day to get to know each other so I think it’s quite a good foundation to find out if you like each other 😀 I meet two of my fomer co-wokers on a regular basis. I’d like to share our simple but very effective method one of my friends is always using: When we meet we already discuss and note down our next day of hanging out. So easy but this definitely made it to my list of lifehacks (Danke Theres! :P) Also I went to a few hang-outs that have been promoted on facebook and also air bnb. There are often meetings organised for new people living in a city since everyone wants to make friends 😀 One time was super fun and the other time the group ditched me. I came to the agreed on meeting point and there was nobody and they didn’t answer my questions of where they were online. So yes try it out and see how this works out for you 🙂

Plan trips to your far-away family and friends

When just like me you love travelling than this definitely will be a highlight. As none of my close friends live here in Hamburg I always have to plan my weekends or holidays to see them. Last year I could visit my friend Lara in Mexico, my horsey-friend in Austria, my fellow student friends when visiting the graduation ceremony of the new graduates, and of course saw my family in my German home town. In 2020 I already visited my Danish friend in her new home town Aarhus. Yes it’s always a mission and involves spending money, sitting in trains/planes/cars but it’s all so worth it when you can hug your friends and talk like you’ve never been apart. Pro tip: I save up money specifially for these ocassions so it makes it easier to actually spend money on these trips.

You are allowed to doubt and cry

Moving to a new city is a process and hard work. Never forget that. When I first got here, I was of course happy to finally be with my favourite man, but I am away from all the others. Since my friends live all over Europe I am used to not having them together, BUT STILL IT’S HARD! My change of living in a student appartment and being together with my student friends 24/7, and having very close bonds to them like you know family, to moving to a big city not knowing anybody except for your partner is…diffucult to say the least. It actually sucks big times. I cried so many times in the beginning, I missed (and still do) my friends terribly bad. Of course I also doubted if it was “the right” choice of moving here. People who love you will check in with you an actually ask you if you are happy in your new place, and it’s ok for you to not know yet. It’s ok and very normal to need time to adjust and build a new home from scratch. Honour and appreciate the small baby steps you make: the job you found, the coffe date with the girl from your sports course, your fellow choir member remembering your name and greeting you. This all matters! Believe me there is no shortcut to it, I would have found it! 😀 It takes lots of time to make a new city your home.

It feels good being back! I would love to hear from you and your experiences of moving to new places and how you deal with it.

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