Culture Shock: What No One Tells You Before You Move

Picture this: you’ve finally moved.  Things went smoothly because you hired great movers (obviously!).  You’re in your new place, maybe even in a new town, or state.   Now you can breathe a sigh relief, right?

In some cases yes, but for many, this is typically when culture shock creeps in and it can be pretty unnerving.  Culture shock can be a real hindrance and often emotionally draining, particularly if you moved alone.

Here are a few tips to help mitigate the growing pains and keep you from feeling like an alien in your own home.

  1. Expect it. Half the issue with culture shock is that many people don’t see it coming.  Whether you’ve been preoccupied with the move or only focusing on the positives of your new adventure, the discomfort of change will likely set in sooner or later.  Just knowing that in advance will help you to recognize those feelings when they do come up.
  2. Ease into it. Moving is a big deal.  While it’s certainly exciting, it’s also a lot of “in-with-the-new”, so try not to make too many big shifts at once.  Chances are you’re moving due to other changes in your life in the first place, so try to keep some small things the same.  Don’t chuck your ratty bathrobe.  Replace your broken-in pillows and favorite bedspread later.  Having some things that are familiar might be of comfort when you spend those first few weeks adjusting to new surroundings.
  3. Explore it. You’d be shocked how frustrating it can be when you don’t know where the closest grocery store is, the best place to go running, who to call when your car is on the fritz, and most importantly, the names of all the best food joints.  Try to research as much of that as possible before your move.  If you know anyone in the area, have them give you their favorite recommendations and schedule a tour within the first week of your arrival.  If you’re flying solo, use the internet, make a list, then set that GPS and start exploring.  While it can feel very disorienting that everything you’ve been familiar with is suddenly different or absent, try to see this part as an adventure.  You got this, Magellan.
  4. Expand Your Network. The best thing you can do is to start building your network as soon as you arrive if not before.  Don’t be afraid to tell people you’re new and ask questions.  Use and Facebook groups to find people with common interests, attend professional networking events, or, dare we suggest…talk to your neighbors?!  You’d be surprised how many people want to help.  The more you connect, the shorter any feelings of alienation will be.

Wishing you more culture, less shock, and one flawless move.

The Great Day Moving Team

Culture Shock: What No One Tells You Before You Move