The Commute

5 ways you can make a new city feel like home

You land your dream job, but there’s one big catch— it’s all the way across the country.

Don’t say no just because a move is such a hassle. Here’s how to get used to things once you get there, whether you’re moving alone or relocating your family.

Join clubs and affinity groups

Whether it’s through your job or outside of work entirely (i.e., an college alumni network), find a place to bond with people who speak your language professionally through clubs and affinity groups. Chances are, there will also be ample networking opportunities to help you advance professionally and get the support you need.

Joining a non-work-related club can give you a healthy outlet to feed your hobbies. In doing so, you’ll probably make new friends who enjoy some of the same things you do.

Get to know other parents

Lyss Stern, founder of Divalysscious Moms, a networking event company for New York City moms, told Parents about how moms can meet other moms through their kids.

“A baby in a stroller is the perfect conversation starter…You’ll be amazed at how many people will stop to look at and comment on your adorable little baby — and though it might seem annoying at first, don’t be afraid to use it to your advantage. People love to connect people. You never know who will have a daughter or a friend with a baby the same age.”

This may also spark relationships between your kids, which could help them adjust.

Let your kids enjoy familiar things

A HuffPost article explains how to “engage in familiar routines” as part of helping kids cope with relocation.

“In the midst of change, children need to lean on the things that are the same. Read the stories they love, maintain consistent bedtime rituals, play favorite games and sit down together for family meals — even if you’re surrounded by boxes!” it says.

Be open to experiences that pop up

Annie Ferrer writes about socializing, even when you’re tired, in a Mic article about “settling in and making new friends” after she moved from New York City to Washington, D.C. for a job.

“I typically save socializing for the weekends. But when you’re in the market for mates, you don’t have the luxury of calibrating your social calendar. If your coworkers are happy-houring, go. If your building is throwing a mixer, attend. If your yoga buddy wants to grab dinner despite dripping in sweat, change your shirt and dig in. Small and spontaneous sacrifices that may upset your routine are usually moments that generate the most cherished memories.”

Remember where you came from

A Reader’s Digest article expands on this in an article about getting used to a new city that may not have your heart.

“To keep from getting too homesick, subscribe to your former city magazine or newspaper. Display photos of or souvenirs from your favorite places in your old town. Hang decorations from your former home. Just don’t go overboard—hanging on to too much from your past will keep you from moving forward and really enjoying your new home,” the article says.