My twenties have been years full of exploration, excitement, and new experiences. I’ve been able to fully immerse myself into the heartbeat and pulse of several different cities, and meet people from all walks of life. I’ve always thrived on adventure, traveling, and trying new things – SO… it was only natural for me to want to experience living in a few different cities while I’m still young, healthy, and without children.
As most of you know, I moved to Austin, Texas last year from New York City. (It will be a year in August! I CAN’T BELIEVE how fast time has flown by!🙀) Although I was no stranger to Texas (having lived in Amarillo most of my life), I had never lived in Austin before. I had only spent a few Thanksgivings here with family, and little time exploring the city. So, when I arrived here last year I had no idea what to fully expect.
I wanted to completely throw myself into the experience of a new life in Austin, and was sooo excited to ‘hit the ground running’ so to speak. I was ready to immerse myself into the culture, heartbeat, and buzz of the city. After all, anytime that I would mention to people in New York City that I was planning to move to Austin, Texas… the overall reaction was – “Austin is so much fun! I love Austin!”. 🌵 This in itself made me SO EXCITED for the big move.
I’m sharing a few ways below that have helped me make Austin feel more like home, and things that I did in New York City as well when I first moved there! Finding your groove and a sense of belonging in a new city can be hard, but there are simple solutions to ease the transition.
MAKE NEW CONNECTIONS
Whether you’re making new connections at work, through your hobbies, at the gym, or at church… you’ll find that once you gain more of a sense of community amongst like-minded people and others that you share similar interests with, the transition into life in a new city will flow much better. When I first moved here I emailed so many photographers, bloggers, and Austin creatives to see if they would like to collaborate together, or simply just chat over a cup of coffee or lunch. I had such a sense of community while I was living in NYC that helped me to thrive, and conquer the city and I wanted to re-create that same community here.
CREATE A ROUTINE
A routine does wonders in helping you stay out of ‘the rut’. Find a great yoga spot that you love, a go-to coffee shop for your favorite morning latte, or a quiet bookstore that you like to work from. Creating more of a routine will help you feel as though you’ve found little pieces of “you” around the city.
FIND YOUR LOCAL SPOTS
Once the locals start to recognize you, you’ll feel much more at home. I get so happy anytime I walk into a favorite restaurant, coffee shop, or local boutique and see a familiar face smiling back at me. I loved life in New York, and in Amarillo because I felt like I was constantly seeing familiar faces in my neighborhood everywhere that I went. I made friends at my favorite local spots and love whenever people ask about my family, or immediately know my coffee order. (iced latte with half & half +two packets of raw sugar please!☕️)
NEVER STOP EXPLORING
There’s no better way to get to know your new city, than by exploring! Search local events in your area through bulletin boards (located at most coffee shops & stores), find new things to do on the weekend by asking co-workers, or join a community book or cooking club! Grocery stores are great locations to pick up local magazines, or the newspaper to see what’s happening around the city.
DON’T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF
It can be easy to feel down sometimes, or feel out of place and not in your element. Things take time, and you won’t feel at home in a new city overnight. It’s important to be patient with yourself, and to allow yourself time to grow. There’s no timeline on when you need to have friends by, when you’re supposed to have your apartment fully decorated (I’m still working on mine!), or when you have to feel like you’ve got it all together. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the new for what it is. 😊
What are some things you’ve done that have helped you make a new city feel more like home?
photography by Sarah Wong.