“when I first came here”

I moved to Leeds from London on my own one year ago this month. In the context of all the changes people make it is small perhaps. However I am naturally cautious and for me it was big. I didn’t really know anyone and everything was new.

So here are my tips for moving to a new city on your own.

1) People will be kind. Let them. 

Let them give you a lift.

Let them invite you to things. Then go.

Let them take you to their favourite cafe for a meal.

Let them be interested.

Let them recommend their favourite areas of your new city. Let them write down the names of roads on a post-it note.

Let them ask what you like doing and email you recommendations.

Become friends with them on social media.

Let them buy you a pint. Or tea. Or a piece of cake.

Let them be kind. Maybe they need a friend too.

2) Say yes more than you do normally.

You will be tired. It will be totally worth it.

3) Seriously. You will be tired. 

It will be hard. It is hard going to a new job from a home you don’t know and leaving to go home again. You will have to be ‘on show’ all the time in every area of your life because there won’t be people you can just be yourself with (yet). Be ready to be tired. Make sure you spend some time alone.

4) Get used to getting taxis. 

I have Amber Cars on speed dial.

5) Have Google Maps readily to hand.  

6) Take yourself out.  

I already enjoyed my own company when I moved. If you don’t, get used to it. You can’t wait until you meet people.

7) Be on Twitter and Instagram.

Follow anything and everything to do with your new city. You never know what might come up.

8) Do whatever you can.

Volunteering is great. Wanting to meet others is always one of the key reasons people do it.

9) Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

If you have a fun chat or time with someone you think could be become a friend, enjoy it in the moment. Don’t worry about what comes next.

10) Do you want to change your life? Be someone different? Do it.

Think about how you want to move through the world. What is your personal brand (the word or phrase that people would use if asked to say something about you). Work towards it. The people you will be meeting don’t know you. There is no-one else around. Just be the you you want.

11) Keep in touch with your old friends!

Make sure they come and visit you and go back and see them.

Good luck!
The title of this post is a lyric from a song called ‘James’ by Fatherson.


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