How To Establish Roots In A New City
So many of us in our 20’s, 30’s, and even 40’s have aspirations of starting life somewhere new. At 22 years of age I felt the very same way having been born and raised in New England my entire life. The process of choosing where to head next on your lifetime adventure is far from easy, but let’s say you’ve made it that far. In fact, let’s say you’re already there. You’ve got a job, a place to live, and you’ve finally unpacked everything that was brought along for the ride. Now it’s time to establish some roots.
This is an intimidating process for so many of us. Establishing roots often requires meeting new people, exploring unfamiliar places, and generally pushing our own boundaries in an attempt to assimilate with our newfound culture. While there is no foolproof means by which we can make this an easy undertaking, there are a number of tactics and strategies we can use to make it that much smoother. Let’s dig into them below.
Okay, so most people these days use Tinder for hookups and the occasional relationship. Chances are high you’re shaking your head at the idea of using Tinder to grow roots in a new place. But much like Facebook or Instagram, Tinder is a social application in which you can meet people based on distance and interests. In fact it serves a much better purpose than either Facebook or Instagram because the whole point of Tinder is to physically meet up with someone in person.
As a resident in a city that was once foreign, my home is now open to couchsurfers looking to establish the similar roots that I once was. Because much of my time is occupied with work, I often tell my guests that they’d be wise to download Tinder for a tour of the city. I’ll recommend explicitly including in their profile that they are new and looking for someone to show them around as a friend — nothing more, nothing less. 9 times out of 10 they’ll quickly find someone in the area looking for a similar friend and the ability to show them around. Just like that, they’re in.
If you’re someone that’s dead set against using Tinder, consider Bumble. Much like Tinder, Bumble is also a social dating app, but it goes a little further by allowing you to search for friends or networking opportunities rather than dates. Understand that friendships on Bumble only allow ‘matching’ with someone of the same sex, but this shouldn’t stop you from finding someone looking for a friend just as you are.
Very few people seem to know about MeetUp, but they’d be wise to check it out when starting life in a new city. Simply put, MeetUp is a service used to organize online groups that host in-person events for people with similar interests. With over 35 million members, MeetUp events are hosted in countless cities across the country every single day. While you may consider your crocheting hobby to be a bit peculiar, chances are high there’s a MeetUp group in your new city containing members with a very similar interest. Athletics, crafts, social clubs, gaming groups, and so many more organizations across the spectrum can be found through MeetUp. You can sign up with your Facebook account for simple and free access.
Facebook has taken a backseat in today’s day and age as the general public seems to grow ever more concerned with its power and knowledge of our everyday lives. But while it still exists, Facebook is an amazing tool to use when looking for local events in your new city that potentially pique your interests. Live music, art installations, sporting matches, and various clubs often advertise on Facebook based on locations that you can filter for your city. If you’re dead set against creating a Facebook profile, there is always the option to open a ‘dormant’ Facebook account that contains no personal information of any sort. You can simply use the platform to see what’s happening around you, and nothing more.
The Local Paper
What was once a dying form of communication with the rise of social media has made a slow comeback in the modern age. Local papers that possessed the grit and determination to withstand the online boom are here to stay, and often showcase some of the city’s best events for the upcoming week. Don’t sleep on the newspaper’s ability to rally a crowd for local events, good music, or the best eats in town that ultimately give you a reason to get out the door and find new folk.
Often the toughest thing to do as a newbie in a foreign city is to simply step out the door and put yourself in an unfamiliar situation — but often times this is by far the easiest way to grow and establish roots. Don’t be afraid to see your favorite band at the local music venue simply because you don’t have any company to go with. Don’t be afraid to watch your favorite team at the local bar. Some of the greatest friendships and relationships are forged naturally around such events simply because everyone attending is there for the very same reason.
You may find yourself struggling to get out the door on your own, but it only gets easier the more you continue to do so. And as you continue to do so, the chances grow that you’ll meet someone worth connecting with. While it is far easier to spend time alone in your room, take time to continue growing throughout your adventure in your new home, no matter how daunting that growth may seem. In time you’ll forge relationships that ensure security, and thus allow you to establish roots in your new home.