Move to a New City

If there’s one thing that will motivate you and get you out of your comfort zone, it’s a big move. While we all know how stressful and painful a same-city move can be – finding a great apartment, cajoling your friends with pizza and beer to help you move your IKEA furniture – packing up your life and moving to a completely new town is a whole new ball game.

Let’s first disregard the logistical nightmare – finding a job, finding housing (often remotely), moving your things, etc. Once you arrive and the dust has settled, the real challenge begins – meeting new people and carving out your niche in unfamiliar stomping grounds. It’s also an exciting time to work on yourself. Maybe you start a new hobby or join a club. Maybe you connect with friends of friends and widen your social circle. Whatever your path may be, it is certainly a transformative period. I’m of the belief that sometimes, you have to shake things up to make things happen.
I made my first move when I was 17, moving from Ottawa to Montreal for university. I briefly moved to Leeds, England for six months in 2012 to study abroad. I don’t count these experiences as a true “new city” moves however, as the fact that I was in school really eased the whole process. I was constantly surrounded by thousands of same-age peers and minimal effort was required to meet new people. The things I did learn were how to be more independent, how to do my own laundry (some shrinking mishaps may have occurred), how to manage my own budget, and how to cook (other than toast, instant ramen or KD).
My first true experience with moving to a new city came last year, when I decided to make the move from Montreal to Toronto. At that point, I had been living in Montreal for six years and at the same job for two. I disliked the fact that I was getting too comfortable and started to seek out job opportunities in Toronto, somewhere I had always wanted to live. Everything happened quickly – before I could blink, I had a job offer with a looming starting date that gave me a little under a month to make my moving preparations. I was generously offered temporary accommodation by my cousin upon my arrival, so I had the chance to apartment hunt in person (a godsend with all the scammers on Craigslist).
A few pictures from my first month in Toronto:
It has now been one year and one month since I made the big move and I have honestly never been happier. In that one year, I have moved three times (one of the apartments had a raccoon and flea infestation, still trying to forget it), made a lot of friends, reconnected with old ones, started a job in a new industry, ran my first 10k and started rock climbing. Moving was definitely one of the best decisions I could have made to jump-start my motivation and even gain confidence in myself. While it may not be for everyone, and timing is absolutely a determining factor, I would highly recommend it to anyone stuck in a rut or itching to make a big change!
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One thought on “Move to a New City

  1. This post makes me happy to read (despite the dreads of moving)! They say it takes a year to feel grounded and “at home” in a new city, and I can definitely attest to that, as it seems you have as well. Toronto can be such a welcoming city since it has so many different communities you can find yourself in. Glad you’re loving it!

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