Five Easy ways to Feel at Home in a New City
By: Leigh Charlton
Obviously, a big part of the travel nurse lifestyle is just that: traveling! As a travel nurse secures new contracts and moves to new locations, they find themselves exploring a wide range of American cities. Moving to a new area is exciting and abounds with different and diverting opportunities, but it can also be an intimidating task to try to maximize your time in that space and get the most out of it. With that in mind, here are some easy tips to help get settled and live life to the fullest in a new space.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to old friends! As a travel nurse, you probably have a dynamic network of travel nursing friends who change locations as often as you. Make sure to check in with them when you’ve moved to a new place; they may have taken a job nearby! Reaching out to people you haven’t seen in a while may be intimidating, but if you’re able to connect with them, nothing will make you feel more at home than knowing that you have someone you can depend on nearby. If it happens that none of these companions are living in the same area as you, it’s still worth asking if they know anybody who is. They may be able to put you in touch with some of their other friends living nearby. Who knows- maybe these new relationships will become some of your closest!
- Get out of your housing and explore the neighborhood! While the housing accommodations provided as part of a travel nursing contract are pretty great (you can compare them here on Wanderly), it doesn’t hurt to make sure that you’re familiarizing yourself with your surroundings. Going for walks and checking out local businesses- coffee shops, clothing stores, finding the best place for groceries near you- are excellent ways to feel at home in your new neighborhood. The more involved you become in your community, the more connected you will feel.
- Sign up for a fun local class. It could be anything- yoga, cooking, a music or dance course. Not only do these courses provide a great opportunity to meet new people who share the same interest, but they also give you a reason to get out and about. It can be easy to stay in the comfort of your home, where everything is familiar and you don’t have to push yourself to meet new people or try new things. In the long run you will be glad to have something planned to get you out of your house and meeting new people- and you may have picked up a new skill in the meantime!
- Ask around! Consult your new neighbors or colleagues for fun local activities, favorite restaurants, or other attractions they enjoy. This way, you’re reaching out to members of your new community, and finding the best local spots to spend time. Consider inviting a group of coworkers out to a restaurant they recommend.
- Be patient with yourself, and give yourself time! It’s impossible to make a new city feel like home overnight. It takes a little while to form the connections and find the places that will make you comfortable in a new place. If you’re a travel nurse, however, the odds are that you love exploring and are pretty outgoing. I have faith that you’ll be able to adapt to your new surroundings and get the most out of it!
Compare pay packages for your next travel nursing assignment here.