Saturday, April 20, 2013

Moving to a New City

Six months ago, I boarded a flight from New York to Los Angeles. Before then I had never been to the state of California much less the city of Los Angeles. Three weeks earlier, I had accepted a job offer in a state and city I had never even visited.   Talk about a life changing decision. 

To say I was excited is an understatement, but like I spoke about in this post, I was also afraid. I spent nights tossing and turning wondering if I made the right decision. I had never even visited  Los Angeles, and I didn't know anyone here at the time, so at times I asked myself "What were you thinking?"  Although I had lived in other cities before,  lived on my own for years  and am very independent, this was different. This was the farthest I would be from everything and everyone I knew.

Yet six months later, I smile, because in retrospect I had nothing to fear.  I am settling in and enjoying Los Angeles. How did I do it?  Here are my tips:

Five Ways to Discover and Meet People in  a New City

1. Be O.K. With Venturing Out Alone
In my first few weeks here, I  didn't know anyone (except my new coworkers) so I often went exploring alone. To be frank, this wasn't difficult for me since I've done it plenty of times in the past. There were times I worried about getting lost (thank God for google maps!), but I've discovered some gems in L.A. through exploring.  I know venturing out alone isn't easy for everyone, but challenge yourself and do it. There's only so much you can discover indoors. 

2. Join and Go to the Events is the website to join if you're in a new city and you want to meet people with similar interests. Through Meetup I've found  groups related to things I enjoy like independent films and art.  I've gotten the opportunity to attend some pretty awesome events and met really great people at the same time.

3. Join a professional Association
This is another great way to meet people. It's also great for networking and staying abreast  of professional development workshops and events in your field.

4. Be Open to Trying New Things
I can't remember the last time I went hiking before moving to L.A. Yet within my first month here, I went hiking in Griffith Park. You know what? I enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to going on more hikes. It's true, I probably wouldn't have gone hiking if I were in New York,  but as the saying goes "When in Rome..." Try new things, you never know what you can discover about yourself.

5. Accept Invitations
"A man who wants friends must make himself friendly," right? Don't decline invitations because "you're too shy," or "you don't know these people," or "you don't feel like being bothered." Ignore the anti-social voice in your head and go out and have a ball. It's so much easier discovering the city by hanging out with a local anyway!

Pictures of some of the things I've done since moving to L.A.


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