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Finding your way in a new town when you have to relocate for work

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It doesn’t matter whether you’re embarking on a second career, a second marriage, or the second grade. Moving to a new town can be a nerve-wracking experience.

Work is perhaps the most common reason to relocate. But you’ve left more than your old job behind. There’s a good chance you’ve also moved away from friends or family, not to mention all the familiar faces and places that make a hometown what it is. Now you’ll need to find a new dentist, a new flower shop, and a whole new support network. All of a sudden, there are a lot of proverbial balls in the air. It’s inconvenient at best and downright debilitating at worst.

While you don’t have total control over the situation — nothing like a move to remind us of that eternal reality —  there are steps you can take to smooth your own transition into a new town and a new job.

Here are some tips and tactics to help make the adjustment period a little easier.


Where’s the nearest grocery store? Is there a downtown area with nightlife or shopping options? And what about that dentist’s office?

Finding all of these locations can be fun if you look at them with an explorer spirit. And with your phone and GPS at the ready, the process shouldn’t be accompanied by too much hassle.

This process can be practical and fun at the same time. For example, once you nail down the best route to the office, extend the journey with your first visit to the local pizza place.

Also, don’t be afraid to be a tourist, so to speak, in your new stomping grounds. Find out if there’s any local history or important institutions, and soak up the local culture. Don’t be afraid to get out of your car, either. Walk the sidewalks for a more up-close-and-personal experience.

Be a joiner

There’s no easier way to make new connections than to simply join groups of like-minded people.

When you’re settling into a new city, forming new relationships is of paramount importance. Think of your favorite activity, cause, or hobby, and there’s a good chance there’s a group of people out there who are interested as well.

The Meet Up website is a good place to find local groups on a range of topics and interests. Or you can ask around at work to tap into the natural knowledge base of your colleagues. When possible, join in workplace happy hours or lunch-and-learns. Ask questions. Volunteer for something important to you. Or visit local houses of worship too, if any of these communities are a good fit for you.

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Get comfortable in your space

If you’re not at home in your home, you can’t feel at home anywhere else.

Getting settled into your house means more than unpacking (although that’s certainly part of it). Hang pictures on the wall, and set up that tried-and-true dining table or book collection. Anything that makes you feel at home should be out of boxes and on display to remind you that home isn’t just a brick-and-mortar proposition.

Looking to bring even more of a touch of home? Schedule a video call with friends or family and give them a virtual tour of the new digs.

There are plenty of other potential ways to get accustomed to and comfortable in your new town or city. But these three strategies can serve as key pillars for any transition plan. Customize them to suit your needs and use this time as a chance for reflection and self-improvement. What kinds of opportunities does this new home and ZIP code — or just the move itself — present?

No one can argue that it’s not an anxiety-riddled process. But leaning into the change can help you discover new avenues (sometimes literally) that you might not otherwise have known were even there.

BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.

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Scott Harris
Scott Harris is a freelance writer based near Washington, DC, with more than a decade of experience covering health…
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