20 Things That Happen When You Move To a New City

Change is really really hard and any of us who has ever made a big move in our life probably remembers that unexpectedly heavy feeling that hits you the moment you turn the key to lock your empty apartment for the last time. Before you take the ride. It takes time for people to form new attachments, and even as we crave new adventures, moving isn’t easy as it uproots us physically and emotionally. And yet, life is flux and moving to a new place can also be a really inspiring, energizing experience. Here is a list of 20 probably familiar things that happen to you when you move to a new city:

1. You suddenly get really excited about hiking, scuba diving or film clubs (because you’re trying so hard to replace your old social circle and want to make friends… yes, even if you’re an INTJ).

2. You’re mysteriously missing precious items that belong to you: a favorite jacket, a ring your first boyfriend gave you, maybe a comfy old pair of bedroom socks that you used to wear all the time.

3. But the fact of the missing items doesn’t strike you until 3 months after your move, because you have been so busy settling in. In fact, moving to a new place might be the only way you could let go of all this stuff. You accept that sometimes you lose things.

4. But you intentionally don’t update your Netflix address because you’re nostalgic.

5. And when you have paperwork to fill, your hand hovers for a second or two over “address”…

6. You work out really hard for the first month because everyday is like New Year’s Resolutions day (a.k.a. “January 2nd”) when you’re starting a new life in a new place.

7. In fact, it takes a while before you figure out how much you actually will or won’t change just because you’re in a new place.

8. You pay attention on the subway. You don’t zone out, and the day you automatically get out at your stop without bothering to listen to the announcement, you sort of feel like a native.

9. A normal text from friends in your old city evokes a pang in your heart. Especially when it’s a group chat and they’re making plans for dinner and you’re not there.

10. You watch a movie set in your old city and the sight of its familiar garbage bins also evokes that same pang in your heart.

11. But the first time your new neighborhood coffeeshop in your new city automatically prepares your order the moment you come in, you feel like you’re “at home” once again.

12. Nonetheless you rant to your friends about how your new city doesn’t have X, Y, Z, which could all be easily found in your old city.

13. You similarly rant about the specific inadequacies of your new yoga class.

14. You feel an instantaneous bond when you run into someone who comes from your old city. Even if their politics are the complete opposite of yours, even if they are 90 and you are 35, you feel like you’ve both been through something special together.

15. Sometimes, the word “home” gives you the jitters. You may panic that there is no longer an established place, an “over there,” that your spirit calls home; but you’re also moved by the thought that you have more than one home.

16. You stumble when trying to describe your vacation plans. Are you going back to your previous city or is it just called “visiting” now?

17. But you really like waking up and listening to a podcast set in your new city.

18. And after 3 months, you finally cave in and start buying kitchen items beyond the Really Essential kitchen items, because you’ve finally accepted that you live there now and will be doing actual cooking.

19. New friends will come for dinner at your house and they will make a mess. Cleaning up afterwards will give you a deeper sense of possession over your new place than the doormat that says “Home Sweet Home.”

20. You break routines with more ease than ever before. A new life is suddenly a reality and not a trite concept (which comforts you when you finally realize that the new subway system you now use is really just as terrible as the previous one.)


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