Moving to a new city can be as exciting as much as it can be intimidating. When you arrive, get settled into housing. Get your bed ready. Unpack your favorite items. Take a shower. Grab basic groceries. Find your way to your new assignment so you know where to go on your first day. That will get you started traveling, and thriving, in your new city. Once you’ve done the basics, start exploring to find your favorite places.
Step outside. Explore the parks. Find local coffee shops, walking or hiking trails, restaurants, music, and more. Ask local folks what they like to spend their time doing. Servers and bartenders make useful resources for recommendations, especially if you’re looking for a specific type of event or venue. Check social media, including Facebook groups for travel nurses, to see what’s popular in your new city.
Always be careful and mindful of your surroundings. Going out late at night in any city is risky, especially if you’re alone. Please be careful as you get to know the people and places. If you have a bad encounter, please let your recruiter know. They also love to know when and where you’re adventuring and welcome lots of pictures!
Tips to Thrive in a New City
This is an opportunity to embrace what you love and explore new interests. One person told us she bought a camera and started a hobby taking photographs of her new city. Another decided to try a new fitness class. And others have found a love for the outdoors in hiking and camping.
- Ask your Recruiter if they have information about the area and if there are other travelers from their agency in your city. They may have recommendations of places to visit, or to avoid, both of which are important.
- Walk around at various times of the day to get a feel for where people gather. On the weekends, there may be activity in the arts district but during the week the music scene is hopping. Who knows, you may meet new people along the way!
- Do something different. If you’ve always wanted to garden, take a class or visit the botanical garden. If you’ve always wanted to climb the steps of a famous building, go for it! Explore your own interests as much as you’re exploring your own city.
- Visit the local farmers’ market. Meet the people who grow your food. Taste the local fruits and vegetables. Grab a bouquet of locally grown flowers to spruce up your new home.
- Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, school, or nonprofit. It’s a wonderful way to meet people and learn about the needs of the city.
- Search social media groups and hashtags like #yourcityevents or #yourcityart to find events of interest.
- Grab a cup of coffee and read a book at a local coffee shop. They may also have live music to enjoy or groups that meet that are of interest to you.
- Eat local fare. Ask what the city is known for. If you’re in Philadelphia, grab a cheesesteak. If you’re in New York, try the pizza. If you’re on an Indian reservation in Arizona, try their local cuisine. Ask neighbors and coworkers where they like to eat, and what they like to order and try something new.
- Search for tours of your city. Often there are self-guided and guided bus and walking tours available. In Charlotte, NC, there are ghost tours offered at night. In New York City, you can join a Big Apple Tour to get a feel for the city. It’s a fun way to get to know your new city.
- Local publications are a terrific way to learn what’s happening. Neighborhoods may offer special events like music and other entertainment as well as larger venues. Sporting events or environmental walks may also be available.
- Pet-friendly events are another way to meet people. Dog parks and pet-specific celebrations are popular. It will get you and your pup out of the house for exercise and to socialize.
It might seem strange, but we recommend settling. Truly get to know the people and culture wherever you are, for however long you’re there. Lean into the unknown and do things you don’t normally do. Expand your interests and meet new people. Think of thriving in a new city as an adventure!
Yes, it will be a bit overwhelming at first, but you will find your way. Take it at a pace that suits you and your lifestyle. Whether it’s walking the parks of a city or hiking we encourage you to embrace your home and take advantage of all that it offers.