Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Top 5 thing to do when you move to a new city

(shout out to bjork's awesome video for wanderlust I first saw it when I was in Amsterdam... Quite trippy)

Plan on moving to a new city? Awesome!

Already moved? Even better!

I have been known to have the travel bug and I will definitely say that I got it from my mama! When she was a bit older than me she went on a tour of western, eastern, and central Africa with one of her girlfriends for a few months. Also, due to the nature of her job, she has been able to travel quite a bit. In fact, my whole family travels zooms around and country hops for work and pleasure. Point is--- I love to travel and my fam does too. it's in my blood.

For people who feel nervous going away, for 2 weeks or even a few months, here are 5 tips to relieve some of our anxieties about going to a new place.

1. Find an ex-pat blogger
I did this before I went to Prague because I thought, damn will I be the only black girl there?.( The answer turned out to be no!) I found another black woman from my city who had permanently moved to Prague. After some email back and forth we agreed to meet up on a sunny afternoon shorty after I arrived. Even though her and I hit it off and still keeping in touch some years later, it was grew to meet up or even contact her to hear about her experiences being black, female, and in central Europe.

2. Continue your hobbies
Whatever shit you like to do a home, you will probably still like those things when you're abroad. For example, I enjoy watching independent films, so I found an independent film theater with Eng. subtitles. Continuing your hobbies when you're away from home can make you feel more comfortable. Plus it's the perfect way to make new friends since you already have a interest.

3. Find other ex pats

Now this one is tricky. Being the die hard anthropologist that I am, nothing thrills me more than meeting new people. Of course, everyone is different but... ,eg. I don't go abroad to meet other Americans. If it happens that's cool, but it's not my focus. However, expats are awesome to have around when you are homesick and need to find peanut butter! Also, many expat websites have listservs with meet up information, so if you're feel it you could always go and chill with a group of them.

4. Figure out your barrio
This one appears obvious but I'll explain just what I mean. Yea, you should figure out where the police, nearest metro stop, grocery and liquor stores are.... But you should also check out the flyers for parties etc. In your local cafe. This will you give you and idea of what type of people go where and which scenes and subcultures are happening in your area. You never know!

5. Date. Date. Date.
A lot of people sleep around when they are abroad. Can't blame them, you can create the perfect no strings attached situation because the chances are that you will move a thousand miles away and not see the person again. Another option is to date as much as possible. In either scenario, just stay safe and protected < no really, shits real. Anyway, dating, even when super casual, is a great way to see the city from a local's eyes.

Fellow wanderlusters, is there something major that I'm forgetting? What are the first things you do when you move to a new city?

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