Moving Tips&Tricks March 15, 2023

A Guide to Moving to a New City Alone

Madison Rogers

Born and raised in Houston Madison is a content writer who loves traveling. She has lived in different states and is always eager to share her knowledge with others.

There is nothing more terrifying than uprooting your life and embarking on a journey in another country. According to the National Association of Realtors, 38% of Americans think that moving abroad is more stressful than ending a relationship. What about moving to a new city alone? This must be on the list of the most stressful and life-changing events, right? Fortunately, with our guide, you won’t have to worry. We’ll warn you about all the things you should consider first.

Moving to a New City Alone Starts With Planning

When it comes to moving to a new city alone, planning is an essential step that cannot be avoided. Without proper planning, you risk facing a host of challenges, such as finding suitable housing, securing a job, and getting around in an unfamiliar city.

Planning ahead allows you to research the city, adjust to another country by understanding its culture, and identify any potential challenges that you may face. It also helps you create a budget, set achievable goals, and establish a timeline for your move. In short, planning is critical to ensuring a smooth transition and making the most of this chapter in life.

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Research Your New City

Before you decide where to live, one of the first things to consider is the cost of living in the area. To do that, use Numbeo. The data featured on the website includes rent, utilities, groceries, and other expenses. It is also important to research the job market, including thriving industries and potential employers.

Another key factor is the neighborhood or area where you plan to live, as it can impact your safety, access to amenities, and overall quality of life. You can also research the local transportation system, including bus routes and subway lines, to ensure that you can easily get around.

Furthermore, researching the culture, history, and social scene can help you get a better sense of the city’s vibe and what to expect. Finally, learn about local organizations or social media groups to connect with people in the area or expat communities and get insider tips and recommendations.

Decide on a Moving Date and Create a Moving Budget

Research packing and shipping services, especially if you have large or fragile items to transport. Consider researching different international relocation companies and their pricing, as well as reading reviews from previous customers. Once you have a better understanding of the destination and its offerings, you can start to pack efficiently, knowing what to bring with you and what to leave behind.

Don’t forget to consider the timing of your move. Factors to consider include the time it will take to obtain a visa, secure housing, and make travel arrangements. You may also want to consider the season and the different climate of your destination, as this can impact your overall move experience.

Once you have a rough idea of a moving date, you can start creating a moving budget. This should include expenses such as shipping, travel, insurance, and any visa or legal fees. Think about any additional expenses, such as rental deposits, utilities, and furniture.

Here is a video on how you can create a budget for your move.

Hire an International Moving Company to Do the Heavy Lifting

One of the most significant benefits of hiring an international moving company is the peace of mind that comes with knowing all belongings are in safe hands. These companies are equipped with the necessary tools and resources to handle shipping, transporting, and packing items, ensuring that everything arrives at your destination in pristine condition.

Additionally, international relocation companies offer insurance coverage to protect your belongings during transit, giving you added security. Overall, an international moving company can help make the move abroad more efficient. There is no need for moving stress.

Use a Wide Range of International Services

An international moving company such as Shepherd International Movers offers a wide range of services to assist individuals and families with their relocation needs. These services can include packing and crating of personal belongings, transportation by air or the more affordable shipping by sea, customs clearance, and delivery to the final destination.

What is more, they can provide storage solutions for those who need to temporarily store their belongings during the relocation process. The best companies offer overseas vehicle shipping as well. Many of them offer assistance with navigating the complex paperwork and documentation required for international relocation, such as visas and work permits. Reach out to the most reputable company and use a wide range of services so that you don’t have to do the heavy lifting yourself.

A worker of a long-distance moving company posing for a photo op
Various services allow individuals and families to tailor their move to their specific needs

Make Sure You Gathered All the Documents Needed for Moving Abroad

There are a lot of documents that need to be gathered for overseas relocation. However, with a checklist for a move like ours, it’s impossible to leave something out or simply forget it. Here is a list of what is needed:

  • Valid passport,
  • Visa or residency permit,
  • Birth certificate,
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable),
  • Driver’s license (if applicable),
  • International driver’s license,
  • Medical records and prescriptions,
  • School records and diplomas,
  • Employment records,
  • Tax records,
  • Financial statements and banking information,
  • Insurance policies,
  • Rental or property ownership documents,
  • Power of attorney documents,
  • Will and testament documents,
  • Any other legal or important documents are specific to the situation or destination country.

Apply for the Visa

Relocating soon, so who do you need to notify? Embassy of the future destinations, of course!

The process of applying for a visa when relocating to a foreign country from the USA can vary depending on the destination country and the reasons for your move. Typically, you would need to first identify the type of visa required for your specific situation and destination country. This can be done by visiting the website of the embassy or consulate of the country you are planning to move to.

Once you have determined the visa type, you will need to complete the visa application and pay any associated fees. Schedule an interview with the embassy or consulate, provide additional documentation such as a passport or proof of financial support, and undergo a background check. Follow the instructions provided by the embassy or consulate and allow plenty of time for the visa application process.

Visa close up
There is no packing and relocating anywhere without a visa

Research and Find a New Home

Finding a home in another country requires thorough planning. Before starting the process of packing and shipping your belongings, it’s important to research the local housing market, including neighborhoods, prices, and rental or purchase options.

Consult online resources or work with a real estate agent to help you identify potential properties that meet your needs. Once you’ve found a suitable home, you’ll need to coordinate the logistics of packing and shipping your belongings to another location to avoid any relocation mistakes.

Research Neighborhoods and Types of Housing

Researching neighborhoods in another city is an essential part of finding the right home. Before you start your search, identify your priorities and preferences, such as proximity to work, schools, parks, or cultural attractions. Find out information from online resources or city guides that offer information about neighborhoods, including their history, demographics, and amenities.

When evaluating the benefits of relocating to a particular neighborhood, pay attention to factors such as safety, walkability, public transportation, and access to services and facilities. Ultimately, your choice of the neighborhood will depend on your budget, lifestyle, and personal preferences, so take your time to research and explore your options before making a decision.

A woman searching for an international moving company on a laptop
Find a neighborhood that would be suitable for your lifestyle

Start Looking For Work in Advance

Are you moving to a new city alone without a job? Research the job market and identify potential employers that align with your career goals and interests. Use online job search engines, company websites, and professional networking sites to search for job openings and apply for positions that match your qualifications.

Additionally, consider reaching out to recruiters or employment agencies. Networking is also key when moving overseas, so be sure to reach out to friends, colleagues, and professional contacts to see if they have any leads or connections that could help you in your job search.

Research Your New Company and Its Culture

Start by reviewing the company’s website, social media pages, and other online resources to learn about its mission, history, and key accomplishments. You can also research the company’s industry and competitors to gain a broader perspective. Look for employee reviews and ratings on websites such as Glassdoor to gain insights into the company’s culture, management style, and employee satisfaction.

job application and a resume
Don't hesitate to find out more about the company and its culture

Prepare for the Culture Shock

Don’t start packing before learning more about the culture, customs, and social norms of your destination. Learning the local language can also be helpful. It’s important to have an open mind and be willing to adapt to new experiences and ways of life. You may also want to reach out to online forums to connect with people who have gone through a similar experience.

Be prepared for feelings of loneliness and relocation depression, and have a plan for how to cope with these emotions. Keeping in touch with family and friends back home, finding hobbies, and exploring your surroundings can all help alleviate the effects of culture shock.

Start Learning Language and Break the Language Barrier

Consider enrolling in language classes or using language learning apps such as Duolingo or Babbel. Immersing yourself in the language by watching movies or TV shows with subtitles, listening to music or podcasts in the target language, and reading books or news articles can also be helpful.

It’s important to practice consistently and not be afraid to make mistakes. Finding a language exchange partner or tutor can provide an opportunity to practice speaking with a native speaker and receive feedback on your progress.

You won't feel depressed when you establish a connection with people in a foreign country

Reach Out to Expat Groups and Meet New People

Reaching out to expat groups is a great way to meet people and build a social network in a foreign city. Start by doing an online search for local expat groups or communities in your area, or check social media platforms such as Facebook or Meetup because coping with nostalgia is very hard. Many cities also have expat-specific clubs or organizations that host regular events and activities. Attend these events, introduce yourself, and strike up conversations with other attendees.

Don’t be afraid to be proactive and suggest meeting up for coffee or drinks outside of organized events. You can also consider joining local clubs or groups based on your interests or hobbies to meet like-minded people.

Here is a helpful video about meeting people abroad.

Explore the New City

Exploring a city after packing and relocating from the USA can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Go to top sights and attractions in the area, such as museums, parks, and historic landmarks.

Take a guided or walking tour to get a feel for the destination and learn more about its history and culture. Exploring the local cuisine is also a must, so be sure to try out some of the local restaurants and food markets.

Getting involved in the community through volunteering or attending local events can also be a great way to meet people and learn more about your home. Above all, be curious, adventurous, and open-minded as you explore your surroundings, and enjoy the journey of discovering all that your place has to offer.

View of Parliament and Big Ben in London
There are so many different ways to get to know the destination more intimately

Find Ways to Cope With Homesickness

First, try to stay connected with your loved ones back home through phone calls, video chats, or even writing letters. This can help you feel less isolated and remind you of the people who care about you.

Second, try to create a sense of familiarity in your environment by decorating your living space with familiar items, such as photos or mementos from home. Additionally, try to get involved in social activities or groups in your community, which can help you make friends and feel more connected to the surroundings.

Finally, be patient with yourself and give yourself time to adjust to your environment.

A city skyline on a rainy day
Though the time of getting used to everything new won't last long, learn how to cope with loneliness

Now You Know How to Move to a New City Alone – This Is a Chance to Start a New Life

Moving abroad is an exciting opportunity to explore different places, learn about cultures. While it may come with its challenges, it also offers the chance to reinvent yourself. Whether you are relocating for work, study, or personal reasons, embracing the change and being open to possibilities can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding experience.

By keeping an open mind, staying connected to loved ones, and taking advantage of opportunities to explore your home, you can make the most of your move abroad and create a life that is uniquely your own.


How Do I Prepare Emotionally for Moving to a New City Alone?

Moving to a city alone can be a challenging experience emotionally. It is important to take some time to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally before you move. One way to do this is to research and learn as much as you can about the new city. This can help you feel more familiar and comfortable with the environment.

How Can I Make New Friends in a New City?

Consider attending events or meetups, which can help you meet new people and network with others. Be open to trying out different things, which can help you meet people with similar interests.

How Do I Find a New Apartment or Housing in a New City?

Research the neighborhoods and different areas that you are interested in living in. This can help you narrow down your search and find the best fit for your needs. Additionally, consider working with a real estate agent or apartment finder service to help you find the right place.

How Do I Prepare for the Logistics of Moving to a New City?

First, make a list of all the tasks that need to be completed, such as finding a new apartment, packing, and arranging for movers. Next, create a timeline for completing these tasks, which can help you stay organized and on track. Make sure to notify your utility companies, bank, and other important contacts of your move.

How Can I Adjust to a New Work Environment?

Take time to get to know your colleagues and build relationships with them. Ask questions and seek feedback from your supervisor, which can help you understand expectations and perform your job more effectively.

How Do I Explore My New City?

One way to do this is to take a walking tour or join a guided tour of the city. try visiting local museums, restaurants, and cultural events, which can help you experience the city’s unique culture and attractions. Consider joining local groups or clubs, which can provide opportunities to meet people and explore the destination together.

How Can I Maintain Connections With My Old City and Friends?

Schedule regular phone calls or video chats with your friends and family members. Plan visits back to your old city, which can provide opportunities to spend time with your loved ones in person. Maintain your hobbies or interests that you shared with your old friends, such as playing a sport or participating in a book club.

How Do I Handle Homesickness?

To handle homesickness, try to stay connected with loved ones, explore your surroundings, and engage in activities that bring you joy and comfort.

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