Moving to a new city? Be a tourist!
Most people experience moving to a new city at least once in their lives. For me, it’s been multiple times. Growing up in North Dakota, my father’s job transferred us to St. Louis when I was 8 years old. Then, when I was 11, we moved to Montana and a year later back to North Dakota. Then to St. Cloud for college, DC for internship in college and Minneapolis after college. And now, Chicago. Having moved as much as I have, I have one piece of advice that will help anyone acclimating to a new city.
Be content to act like a tourist!
Learning a new city isn’t always easy when you’re trying to blend in a look like a local. Sometimes you’ve gotta be a tourist to really see the overview. It’s easy to get stuck in one neighborhood and a pattern you’re used to. Today, Twitter Guy and I were full blown tourists. Given that it was Memorial Day, it was easy to go with the crowds and see the sights. We took a double decker bus tour of Chicago and it was great fun learning “little known facts” about our new great city. We drove by restaurants we thought, “Why haven’t we gone there?” about. We rode through parks we noted we, “have to come back to on a Saturday.” And we realized though we trek around every weekend, we seldom get past our “new normal” places.
Tonight, we ventured over to Millennium Park for “New Music Mondays” – a fantastic free concert every Monday night. And we realized how much we have at our fingertips all summer just a few blocks away at Millennium Park – not to mention all the new places in Gold Coast and River North we now have to try for breakfast – and learning which beaches are crowded and gross and which are fun and have less traffic. Overall, our tourist day has made us even better Chicagoans. So if you’re moving to a new city, don’t worry about trying to blend in. Be a tourist! You’ll learn more, experience new things and find yourself falling in love with your new city all over again.