Moving to a new city alone can be a daunting challenge. It’s scary and much more difficult than when you’ve got others to help. Trust me, I know. I’ve moved to new cities alone several times over the last 15 years. I’ve moved from one end of the state to another, one coast to the other, and even to a new country. I did all that alone. Sometimes there were people I already knew at my new location, but often I just had contact information for my new employer. However, it was always just me, my luggage, and sometimes my tools.
Ask New Employers About Contacting Fellow Employees
If you’re moving to a new city alone, chances are it’s for work. Talk to whoever hired you if they can put you in touch with some of the people you’ll be working with, something like a welcome wagon. You can ask these people about places to hang out and make friends, places to live (uninterested locals are going to know the good and bad neighborhoods and the expensive and affordable neighborhoods), and pretty much any other pieces of information you’re likely to need. Which Cable TV company offers the best service in the area?
Contact a Realtor to Get Location Information
I’ve come to realize over the years that realtors are excellent founts of location-specific information. These guys can tell you where you can find anything in the neighborhood and they’re usually pretty happy to help out with quick bits of information. They can tell you where the cheapest gas can be found, or the best cup of coffee. Need to know where a Trader Joe’s is located? You could look it up on the Internet, or you could ask a realtor.
Make Use of Facebook to Make Moving to a New City Alone a Little Easier
Facebook is also an excellent tool to help make moving to a new city easier. Take a look at the images above and below. I typed “Phoenix Arizona” into the search bar on Facebook. The images are screenshots of some of what resulted from that search. I can see that several people I know have been to Phoenix. I can ask them questions about their time there. There are also Facebook listings for several bars and restaurants that might prove helpful. I’ve also discovered who the ABC-TV affiliate is for the area, as well as several places of interest such as museums and a Farmer’s Market.
Another piece of information I gleaned from that search is located down at the bottom of the page under the heading “Related Groups.” I notice there’s a couple of political groups I could join, both the get involved and to meet like-minded people. Facebook is an absolute wealth of information.
Union Members, Get Involved
When I moved to Phoenix in the summer of 2001, I went because the local out there of the union I was in at the time was the first to respond to the email messages I sent out to locals around the western states looking for work. They got me hooked up with a YMCA with the facilities I wanted, a low cost apartment in a clean building in a decent neighborhood, and were also able to direct me to some of the better dining and shopping places in the area. I arrived a few days before the monthly meeting and went. That made for an instant 500 people that were willing to talk to me and help me find my way around town. In fact, I introduced myself to some of the officers before the meeting and they actually made an announcement and asked the members to give me a hand familiarizing myself with the area. Traffic tips topped the list of info I got here.
Ask a Hotel Manager
I know, this one sounds weird. What would you ask a hotel manager? You’re not going to ask them about things like where the best schools are, but you can ask them about entertainment venues, shopping centers, bars, restaurants, pretty much anything. Remember, as a new person to the city, you’re basically a tourist right now, albeit with some needs and questions that are a little beyond what a tourist might want or need, but the idea is the same. A hotel manager is a resident and captive expert on the area in question. Lean on them.
Look for Location-Specific Online Forums
The Internet is chock-full of information sources for those that are moving to a new city alone. As I mentioned in the intro, I’ve actually moved to a foreign country alone. I had a grasp of the language, but wasn’t very good. I needed a dentist, so I looked on the Internet and found a site for English speakers living in non-English-speaking countries. If you go to Google and perform a search, “Phoenix Arizona moving help” for example, you’re going to get millions of results. Not all of them will be helpful, but many will. Culling out the useless ones will take time, but you’ll find a treasure trove of info.
Photo Credit: Francesca Palazzi