It can be hard to make a big move, and whether it’s for a new job opportunity, or simply for the sake of a fresh start. 

However, moving to a new city alone or with your friends, and having new experiences can ignite a sense of a joie de vivre and challenge us to step outside of our comfort zones and figure out who we really are, and force us to assess what we really want out of life in perspective-altering ways.

How can you make a new city your home? And what are the best ways to explore it? Consider Rhino your first friend in your new neighborhood.

Find your favorite things to do

Here’s a simple way to get started: Make a list of your favorite tasks or new social goals, and use the internet to find the different neighborhoods to explore. 

It’s important to keep yourself safe as you explore, and researching ahead of time can give you the peace of mind needed to get going. You can find local bloggers on social media platforms like Instagram, who include guides to their favorite restaurants or outings in the city. It doesn’t always have to be a major city to find one, let Rhino help you in Salt Lake City or Jess Kirby for the beautiful Woodstock, Vermont!

If you like a walkable range of restaurants, coffee shops, trivia nights, galleries – all of these are searchable by different hashtags on social media. It’s easy to get lost in IG, scoping out your new city’s hotspots, or spend hours on review sites planning your weekend. You’ll find a wide variety of tags from businesses themselves and in doing so meet people that are like you!

If you went to poetry readings or took cooking classes in your current city – reach out to the people who run the social media or the business online for suggestions. You never know where people with similar interests have explored, it’s always worth reaching out for their suggestions of a business or person to connect with in your new city. 

Image of a renter exploring in a new bookstore

Schedule a day to walk around

In a city like New York, you can take a day to walk through different neighborhoods to find a new coffee shop or park to sit at, walk along a notorious path like the High Line, or take in the views around a waterfront neighborhood like DUMBO

If you’re someone who enjoys walking, a city such as Los Angeles or Jacksonville which are designed for driving may not be the best fit over someplace like New York, Chicago, Seattle, or Boston where there is ample public transportation. In a city like San Francisco, you may have more fun making stops along the trolley when you find a spot that looks interesting!

Ideally, set aside a couple of days, one that has an agenda and stops planned, and a second where you can more spontaneously search your new city. By letting yourself become immersed in the new environment, you might find more than you expected! You might find a new grocery store in an unexpected location, or a peaceful corner of the park to read in.

Image of a renter crossing the street

Digitally connect with others via online groups

There’s Facebook groups for everything these days, and if you type in the name of your city plus “apartments,” you are more likely to find a group that can point you in the right direction. There are plenty of meetup groups on Facebook and Reddit for social activities to meet new people, your favorite podcast might have a group in your area. Most local groups will have meet ups that you can join, or you can use an app like Meetup to pair up with others who are also new to your city.

Image of a renter in a new coffee shop.

Take a tour

You can learn alot about a city by its arts and cultural offerings. Taking a tour (of any kind) is great because it lets you learn about the history of the city or type of program or culture, and it’s a great conversation starter with others around you. You might meet other locals or be able to learn from the hosts, find a new artist to follow, or hear what others have found interesting! Guided tours might seem cheesy at first glance, but you can learn a lot about the layout of your new home and have a fun day out. Here are a few ideas:

Image of two friends meeting up outdoors

Connect with others in your existing networks

If you’re starting an entirely new life at square one in a new city and desire a more organic way to make new friends, consider using any of your inherently built-in networks. 

Are you moving to a new city because of a new job or a promotion? If you are relocating within the same company, take stock of any coworkers you already know who reside in your new city and ask them for recommendations, or if you already have a good rapport and see friend potential, ask them to hang out. If you work for a large employer, consider taking advantage of any employee resource groups – such as PNC Bank’s EBRGs – that are localized to your new city, or even take the liberty of connecting with fellow employees in your city via your company’s directory or LinkedIn. 

Other examples of built-in networks include college classmates who relocated to your new city (it might be worth rekindling a distant friendship), as well as any memberships or volunteerism with national associations, such as Rotary International and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

Image of pedestrians crossing a busy NYC street.

Exploring a new city doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re a person who likes lists, you can kick-off your exploration by listing your favorite tasks or new social goals, scheduling a day to walk around to a few key places, or you can jot down your built-in networks. Take the pressure off by simply scrolling through a local influencer’s social media page, sign up for a guided tour, or just spontaneously walk around your new city to soak in the sights. And if you’re preoccupied wrapping things up in your current city, and then need a moment to get settled into your new home before exploring your new city, that’s perfectly okay too. Your new city will always be there for you to discover.

Larenz Brown

Larenz Brown is a copywriter at Rhino who wants to tell stories that empower people. He once engaged in a 365-day staredown with a security deposit and emerged victorious.