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4 important steps when moving to a big city alone

Moving to a big city alone can be quite scary. If you grew up in a small town and lived your whole life there, you’re used to the kind of community, friendliness, and neighborliness that small towns foster. Big cities are quite different from that. This doesn’t necessarily make them either worse or better, of course. It’s simply a fact that living in a big city is different from living in a small town. And it hardly gets much bigger than New York! So you’ll need to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not just talking about finding the perfect New York movers either. Oh no, it’s time to learn how to survive a relocation to a big city on your own.

People walking around NYC at night after moving to a big city alone.
It’s important to prepare for the big city life in advance to make the transition easier.

Step 1 when moving to a big city alone: do your research!

Preparation is essential any time you’re moving. But it’s even more vital when you’re moving for the first time. And if it’s also going to be your first time moving to a big city, then you’ll definitely want to invest some serious time and effort into preparing for that. Doing it all alone with no one else to turn to on top of all that? Well, you can see where we’re going with this: researching the city and the moving process ahead of time is easily one of the most important steps when moving to a big city alone!

Prepare for the move

Before you even start to freak out about living in a big city where everything is completely different, you should first focus on how to even get there. Moving is rarely as easy and straight-forward as Hollywood may have led you to believe. So you’ll want to research the best way to conduct the upcoming relocation first. Your relocation will certainly be easier if you rely on professional moving services. This is certainly the best thing to do when moving alone. If you choose to go this route, you’ll need to look for the best moving company in the area and decide on the services you want to use from them. But if you opt for a DIY move, you have a tougher road ahead: research how to organize a relocation, pack for a move and rent a moving truck, to begin with.

Prepare for life after the move

You will also need to prepare for actually living in New York City, especially if you haven’t lived in a big city before. Take a gander online at things like the best (and cheapest) neighborhoods to move to, the best way to get around the city, the prices you can expect to pay for everyday things like groceries and utilities, tips on how to get a job, sights you have to see, ways to get involved in the community or just meet other people. You’ll feel more confident about living in a big city if you know more about it!

Step 2 when moving to a big city alone: deal with your budget

Not all big cities are necessarily very expensive (though NYC definitely is). But generally speaking, moving from a small town to a big city means dealing with an increased cost of living. So from the moment you get your moving estimate to the point when you feel established in your new home, you’ll have to worry about your budget.

Dollar bills and coins.
Higher costs of living in big cities are often a concern for people moving there.

Get a job as soon as possible

The cost of moving is not something that you can avoid and the cost of living is not really something that you can affect. So what you can do to help bear them is increase your income by getting a job. If you’re lucky enough to find a job before even moving, then you’re well ahead of the curve! But don’t despair even if you move without a job lined up. The good news is that big cities offer a lot of opportunities. The bad news is that those opportunities come with a lot of competition. Don’t let that discourage you! Polish your CV, apply to any positions that might suit you and prepare for the interviews.

Adjust your spending priorities

You’ll want to rethink your spending habits after you move to a big city. You may, for example, be used to driving everywhere and spending a good portion of your budget on car maintenance. There’s no need for that in New York! You can redirect your funds to public transport instead. This will be much cheaper. These little adjustments in priorities and habits can go a long way to helping you live comfortably. And if you’re moving alone to a more expensive place no less, you’ll need all the help you can get with saving money.

Step 3 when moving to a big city alone: adjust to the big city life

The biggest difference you’ll encounter when moving to NYC from a small town is probably not the change of scenery or higher prices. It’s actually a different lifestyle. And if you want to make this new place your home, you’ll need to get used to that. So here’s what you can expect:

  • different relationships with other people: in a small town everyone knows everyone else; in a city like New York, you’ll be a lot more anonymous – people won’t care about your personal life, they won’t think you’re weird and they’ll be more open to your quirks and uniqueness, but you will also, conversely, be more alone because of this distance
  • more diversity: big cities tend to boast higher diversity rates – you’ll find people of all races, ethnicities, religions, and sexualities in New York
  • different speeds: big cities are often much busier with far more hustle and bustle than small towns; you’ll see people rushing to work, school or to pick up their children from kindergarten at all times of day in all parts of the city
  • endless opportunities, endless competition: you’ll have the chance to try just about anything in New York; you’ll also, however, have the chance to fail at it because you’ll never be the only one qualified or the only one interested
Person standing in the street in NYC.
Prepare to live a different life in a big city!

Step 4 when moving to a big city alone: work on your social life

New York is a city where it’s easy to feel alone in the crowd. Everyone always has places to be, things to do, people to meet. When you’re moving to a big city alone, this can be a huge obstacle. You won’t have any friends or family to rely on and that can make you feel even lonelier. So don’t hesitate to get involved in the local communities! There are tons of opportunities to meet people in a city like New York. Go out to parks, party in clubs, have drinks in bars, accept invitations from colleagues, host gatherings at home, join interest groups or volunteer at events. Be social as often as you can and you’ll find great friends in no time! Before you know it, New York will feel like home with them on your side.

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