In the past ten years, I have lived in four different cities, besides my original home town. Relocation became part of my life for a variety of reasons, including University, relationships, and jobs, and while I may have enjoyed certain cities over others, I do not regret any of my relocation decisions.
You see, with every single city, came an abundance of learning opportunities and personal growth. Each city taught me something about myself, and the whole process of relocating and adjusting to new cities provided me with various life skills and new characteristics. I am a completely different person than I was at 18, and I credit that positive transition partly to moving around so often. I use to be a shy, introverted person who rarely stepped out of her comfort zone, and was terrified to try anything new, but now, four cities later, and I am a lot more outgoing, I am no longer scared to try new things and experience situations outside my comfort zone, and I feel I am now more adaptable and flexible in general.
So, how did moving to a new city provide me with new skills? How did it alter my attitude about change and trying new things? Well, let me tell you! Here are the 10 ways living in new cities helped me grow:
ONE | MOVING PUSHES YOU OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
As someone who lived in their comfort zone for the majority of their life, I instantly discovered I could no longer hide there in a new city. Every single thing I did was a new adventure. Something as simple as going to a new gym, was a new experience, and everything I did involved me pushing my insecurities down to tackle that new experience.
In my first new city, I was slow to discover how many new & fun activities there were around me. I knew sitting home alone all the time was not logical, no matter how nervous I felt. So, I slowly came out of my shell and started attending different events and exploring the city more and more. I began pushing myself to make friends, which allowed me to move even further outside of that wonderful comfort zone.
By the fourth city, my comfort zone was hardly apparent anymore. I was excited to explore, and to try the new and exciting things that the city had to offer. I noticed this in every aspect of my life. Moving to new cities had shown me that great things happen when you step outside of your comfortable bubble and try new things.
TWO | IT ALLOWS YOU TO BE WHO YOU REALLY ARE
The most exciting part about living in a new city, is being anonymous for a while. I personally come from a smaller city, so it is not unusual for everyone to know everyone else’s business. When I moved to a new city, it was nice because I could do whatever I wanted, and not have to worry about anyone talking about it, or judging me. When you stop worrying about who is going to see you, or who you’re going to run into, you begin to do and try new things. You start to figure out who you really are when you are not hiding behind “fitting in” or “being accepted”. While I never think you should change who you are due to other people’s opinions, it is a lot easier to explore your authentic self in a city where you do not know anyone! Baby steps!
THREE | MOVING INCREASES YOUR ADAPTABILITY
Like I mentioned, with a new city, comes many new experiences. What it also comes with, is differences in landscape, culture, population, traffic, etc. You quickly have to adapt to the changes that come with a new city. Personally, for myself, I came from a smaller city where I could basically get anywhere in 10-15 minutes. So, when I moved to a much larger city, and it was taking me an hour to get to the other side of the city, that was an adjustment! Being in a new city increases your ability to adapt to new situations and experiences. As you learn to adapt and adjust, you grow as a person, and depending on where you move to, you may even have to adapt to new laws, languages, cultural norms, etc. But, all of these things provide great opportunities for learning and growth. When you are dealing with such being changes in your life, smaller personal changes become a breeze, and you become a very flexible and adaptable person.
FOUR | MOVING PROVIDES NEW OPPORTUNITIES
With new cities, comes new experiences and opportunities! I have been exposed to various concerts, festivals, events, restaurants, etc. It is so exciting to explore a new city and all it has to offer! Now, one of the reasons I actually ended up moving to a new city, was due to the opportunities it could provide. I was able to land a position in my field because the job market was much larger, and with that position came a ton of career experience. I never would have gained that experience in my field had it not been for the new opportunities that opened up with moving to a new city. Of course, it is not just career opportunities, it is volunteer opportunities, various groups and classes, internships, activities, etc.
FIVE | MOVING BRINGS FORTH NEW RELATIONSHIPS
Lastly, with a new city, comes new people. It is so nice to meet new people who can teach you new life lessons and expand on your own experiences. From every single person you meet, you gain something! I will always have my closest friends in my home town, those are my girls and they always will be, but I have met some fantastic people who have also had a major impact on my life in the new cities that I lived in. I have met people who have inspired me to be better, I have met people who have helped me get outside of my comfort zone, I have met people who I have more in common with then some of my closet friends, and I have met people who have inspired me. I never would have met these amazing people if I had not taken a change and moved to a new city! Ultimately these people have made me a better person, and attributed to who I am today!
All and all, living in new places has always provided me with learning opportunities. I have learned so much about myself, and have been rewarded with so much personal growth in the process.
Living in a new place can provide you with so many positive experiences and opportunities for self exploration and growth. Like anything, moving to a new city comes with it’s up’s as well as it’s downs, but all in all I believe the benefits outweigh the negatives if you approach the opportunity with a positive mindset and experience all the rewards that a new city has to offer.