So here it is! My first ever blogpost! I tried to think of what I get asked the most having moved to and lived in 7 different cities and 6 countries for an extensive period (minimum 6 months). I notice that people always tell me that when they enter a new city to visit or move to they struggle to meet new people as they do not know anyone, know the best places to see, stay or go out to.
For my first blogpost I have chosen ‘ How to succeed when visiting or moving to a new city with these 5 easy steps’. This is usually the process I use when entering a new city. I hope you enjoy it and I appreciate any comments or feedback that you have or steps that maybe work for you!
1) Accommodation and meeting new people: Use www.couchsurfing.org (separate article to come), couchsurfing is a hospitality exchange and social networking service which has over 3million people worldwide. It allows you to stay with local people for free at their home and get to experience what their life and culture is all about in that city. I have met over 500 people through this and have had some great experiences. If staying with somebody is not your cup of tea it is also a great way to meet new people and possibly attend the weekly meetup of that city. This way you can meet people who are locals in the city who would know the hidden spots and share stories and information on things to do and see. At the same time you get to meet other visitors like you from all regions of life, if you hit it off with someone you can arrange a future catchup for a beverage, or possibly a roadtrip to another region of the country you are in. I usually email 10 people when entering a city and meet with them first as this gives you many open doors to meeting many more new people in your first week or two.
2) Accommodation: If you are not using couchsurfing then you naturally have the choice of hotels, hostels (hostelbookers.com) and other hospitality exchanges such as (www.hospitalityclub.org). Also there are sites such as www.mindmyhouse.com or www.airbnb.com. Mind my house enables you to stay at a persons house and you look after it for free while they are away and for a small join up fee it is certainly worth it, while www.airbnb.com is where you pay somebody for the use of their bed and breakfast for as many nights you agree to and make a payment through the site at the end. Woofing is an option here as well where you work in exchange for accommodation; a lot of people of all ages participate in this.
3) Meeting people: Sign up to meetup.com and join all the groups that you have an interest in (e.g. personal development/sports/hiking/going out/dancing) and go to at least two of those during your first few weeks.That exposes you to another 10-20 people depending on the size of the group. I have used meetup.com in 4 different counties and have met some awesome people who I still keep in touch with until this day.
4) Social scene: Go to localist.com of that city and get a list of all the best bars and restaurants in town which are then rated by the people of that city. Make sure you visit 5-10 of them and randomly introduce yourself to the bartender or groups of people, tell them you are new to the city and are looking to make some new friends, and you will be sure to pick up some new tips of things you are looking do there. Use sites such as www.tripadvisor.com and www.virtualtourist.com which gives the views, ratings and thoughts of people who have visited the city that you are in and lists in order the popularity of each activity or site in that city.
5) Longer term stays: If staying for a while in the city then look to join a few clubs which you have an interest in (e.g. sports club, Latin club, languages club) even if you do not play the sport or hobby however have a slight interest in it you can still join the social scene that happens after the games or events. This creates a level of camaraderie which makes it easier to find the things you might possibly need for a longer stay in a new city (e.g. job, house, gym membership, etc).
Enjoy your visit or move to your new city!