Whether you’ve moved for work, school or just to take on an adventure, starting over in a new place can be intimidating and exciting. Starting over in a new city without friends or family can be scary, but it can also be the perfect chance to find yourself and make new friends you never would have met otherwise. But how do you even get started? Keep reading for a few tips.
Meet the Neighbors
Online guides are helpful, but no one knows your area better than the people around you. When you move into a new apartment, start with a friendly hello if you see a neighbor in the hall or parking lot. If they seem receptive, strike up a conversation around mutual interests, and casually work in that you’re new and wondering where might be a great place to hang out. You’re likely to get some good recommendations, and you might even make some new friends while you’re at it. If nothing else, it never hurts to make nice with the neighbors; you never know if you might need their help in the future.
Put on your most comfortable walking shoes and take a tour of your neighborhood. You’ll need to get used to your new home anyway, so go familiarize yourself with the local landmarks. Stop into shops or gas stations along the way and ask where they might recommend to eat or get a drink. Locals are more likely to point you toward hidden gems that don’t often show up on city guides.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Restaurants and bars, especially small, independently owned establishments, are goldmines for information when you’re new to town. Bartenders and servers rely on tips, which in turn are often directly tied to their personality. They’re also used to making conversation. Don’t monopolize their time if they’re busy, of course; visit at a slow time of day when they have time to chat, and just explain that you’re new and looking for recommendations on what young people do and where they go for fun there. This is especially effective if you find an employee who looks to be around your age.
Become an Internet Sleuth
If you don’t want to put in the literal legwork (or if you’ve already done it or are preparing to do so), take your search online. From the comfort of your couch, you can find tons of information about your area by joining local Facebook group and web forums. You’ll find people with common personalities, careers, and/or hobbies, so you’ll probably gain some new friends that way. They’ll also have the scoop on interesting hangout spots and fun events taking place around the city.