Top Tips for putting down your roots in a new city

Not everyone has the good fortune of being born into a bustling, exciting city. No matter what country you come from, your place of birth is an entirely random fact over which you have absolutely no control whatsoever. However, once you reach a certain age there is one thing you can control – and that is where you then choose to live.

For many, choosing to live in a big city, having grown up in a much smaller town or village, is a thrilling yet, at the same time, daunting prospect. While small town living means you pretty much get to know everyone, in larger cities, you can become anonymous in a crowd. There may be hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of fellow city dwellers, but this just makes it all the more difficult to get to know anyone.

A city is the sum of its parts – and getting to know all those parts takes time and dedication. But the reward is to find your own small corner which you own, and which ultimately identifies you. In an attempt to speed that process up, there are a few things you can do. Follow our guide.

Eat out once a week on your own

This might seem counterproductive, but eating out on your own is a brilliant way to build both confidence and connections. Eating out solo gives you time to observe others, observe places, and often results in having completely random conversations with complete strangers you would never normally have spoken with.

If you’re particularly nervous, you may want to pick a favourite restaurant and get to know the servers first of all – become a regular, become part of the scene. But don’t get too comfortable – take that next step to find a new place and start to do the same. Take a book or newspaper with you. Acknowledge other people but don’t impose on them. Over time you will learn the vibe and rhythm of different areas of the city, and start to hone down on your favourite places.

Be a tourist

Being a tourist will remind you of the reasons why you are so privileged to be living in a vibrant city. Start with the most obvious attractions. In London, for example, take in the palaces, the parks, the galleries, then get more specific, book on the Jack the Ripper Tour, paddle down the Thames, take a barge trip along the canals. 

For every activity you do, take a step off the beaten path. If the crowd turns left, turn right. If they go upstairs, go down. If the guide points in one direction, look in the opposite – because every area of a city is multi-faceted, and while your attention is being directed one way, there are myriad other interests happening on the other side.

Walk. Or take the bus.

Dump the car. They are always too expensive too keep in a city these days with charges imposed by schemes such as the ULEZ Ultra Low Emission Zone in London, in a drive towards carbon net zero.

Trusting in ‘shank’s pony’ – your own two legs – will not only get you fit, but it will enable you to discover hidden parts of the city that you might otherwise miss by whizzing around in a car. Whether secret alleyways, tucked away gardens, beautiful and unusual buildings that are hidden in plain sight – the best and most effective way to discover a city is to do so on foot. If need be, take the bus to you destination, but tuck away a pair of trainers in your bag and walk back.

Vivek is a published author of Meidilight and a cofounder of Zestful Outreach Agency. He is passionate about helping webmaster to rank their keywords through good-quality website backlinks. In his spare time, he loves to swim and cycle. You can find him on Twitter and Linkedin.