Bad drivers - everywhere. Green space - scarce. Bike lanes - ignored? Walkable - it better be. Brunch options - a plenty. Dating scene - vibrant. Safe - sure, except for the uninitiated. Expensive - absolutely. Life changing - potentially. Worth it - you better believe it.
These are the thoughts of a man who has weighed the risks and rewards of city living and went for it. We applaud the sense of adventure it takes to leave the suburban nest for the concrete jungle, but caution that the change can be jarring, especially when going it alone.
Cities have a different feel and rhythm than most home and college towns. And though we often adapt by necessity, we’ve got a few tips to ease your transition. So whether the move is by choice or to pursue a new career opportunity, we are here to help you love your new city faster.
Easier said than done. The best ways are to do things like volunteer, talk to the barista, or chat with bartenders. Find a run club. Join a yoga studio. Join a crossfit gym - if cults are your thing. Sign-up for a sports league. Pay for the alumni association membership, and actually go to the events. Visit watch bars for your favorite sports teams. Just get out there, and eventually, you’ll gravitate toward the places and people that suit you best. The hardest part is getting the courage to go out there by yourself, so signing up for something that puts you into a group setting, like a team, is a great start.
Carry a little cash.
These days, everything is swipe and go. But, some small businesses like food carts aren’t always on the up and up, not to mention unforeseen covers, and technology can be fickle. Having a few bills can be a lifesaver, and women dig a man who’s prepared for the unexpected - one or two Tubman’s should do.
Did we say the city is expensive? Just in case, let us say it again - the city is expensive. Find a Trader Joe's. Learn to cook - buying lunch and dinner everyday is a huge money suck. Ditch the car and use public transportation. You’ll have a love-hate relationship with public transportation, but it’s a cake walk compared to the alternative - paying for parking tickets and parking spaces, not to mention towing fees if you get it wrong. Think about cutting the cord and just go with internet service. Take advantage of promotions for new customers for subscription services like Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Now - anything but cable. And, save for travel - because as you much as you’ll love the city, sometimes we all need to escape and that too is getting expensive.
Be Alone and Find a Hobby.
Invest in decorating your apartment- empty walls make you look insane and boring. Buy books. Learn to play the guitar, paint, or draw. Start a blog. Take up photography. Practice yoga at home. Meditate. Take an online class. Being alone is therapeutic. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and maybe a valuable skill. Being in a city is just as much about finding yourself, as it is about discovering what it has to offer you.
Probably the best tip we have. Get lost - that’s how you find your way. Find shortcuts and the nearest grocery store. Locate the farmer’s market. Learn street names. Look up from your google maps and give it a go, the old fashion way. You know, like people used to do in 1995. Go on a hike. Know your neighborhood, meet your neighbors - especially the ladies in your building/on your block. Use Thursday to Sunday to scope out the bar and restaurant scene. Join the e-mail lists for local sports teams. Visit local concert venues. Be a man about town - you’ll settle in faster, and this will be become valuable intel for the active dater.
City life is fast and fun, especially if you’re a young professional and particularly during warmer months. You’ll find the constant claustrophobia, small annoyances, and random crazy folk are all part of making the city experience so enjoyable.