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Tips for Moving from a Small Town to the Big Apple

If you’re a small-town soul heading for the Big Apple, it’s easy to feel like a country mouse in the big, bustling city. Moving to NYC doesn’t have to be completely overwhelming though. These tips for moving from a small town to the Big Apple will help make your moving experience smoother and a little less shocking.


Take a trip to NYC first
If you have the ability, spend a long weekend exploring the neighborhoods of New York to get a feel for the fast pace and lifestyle of such a unique city. NYC feels alive with the hustle and bustle of East Coasters who constantly have somewhere they need to be in a hurry, so if you can pay a visit before your move and take your time to check out the coffee shops and restaurants and learn the New York City public transportation system, the culture shock will be a bit easier on you when you do finally relocate.

Be prepared for New Yorkers
People in the city might seem to be a bit rude at first blush, with little respect for personal boundaries and no interest in getting to know you. But if you’re moving to New York with an open mind and realistic expectations, you’ll find that people are actually really kind if you need help — so long as you remember to let them through when they’re in a rush!

Say goodbye to your car
New Yorkers rarely drive anywhere, and for good reason. Parking is a nightmare and city traffic can get extremely backed up, so join the pedestrian culture, get acquainted with the New York City public transportation, learn how to use cabs, and you’ll avoid the hassle of trying to navigate city traffic by car.

Meet people online ahead of time
Participate in online discussion groups, check out some MeetUps or networking opportunities and start to meet people in New York City that way. They can help share insights and tips for living in NYC that you might not find otherwise and it’s always nice to ‘know’ someone who can help you out in a pinch.

Explore the boroughs one at a time
Don’t worry about “getting to know” the City too quickly.  New York City boroughs each have a unique personality all their own and are in truth like small towns within a larger city.  Getting to know each New York neighborhoods, one by one, can help you ease your transition. Visit the main streets and take a wander to find all of the hidden gems each one has to offer.

Give yourself time to adjust
Whether you’re from Upstate or you’re making a long distance move, relocating to New York City can be a big transition for anyone — but especially so if you are coming from a small town. Give yourself 3-6 months to work out getting around, to meet people in NYC, and to really get a taste for the way of life.  You’ll find yourself more comfortable, and probably walking faster, just like a true New Yorker as the city grows on you.