What You Need to Know Before Moving From a Small Town to a Big City
Moving to a big city for the first time can be a daunting task, especially if you’re coming from a small town. You may be prepared for obvious differences like traffic or cost of living. But other quirks don’t show up until you’ve actually lived in the city for a while. Here’s what you need to know.
Of course, these features of the city are generalizations. Your experience will depend on many factors – what you are used to, the area you live in, etc. But for the most part, these are common complaints and how you can prepare for them and how to get around them.
“Quick” trips to the store are not so
Due to the large number of people, there are usually more obstacles in a big city. When you live in a small town, you can usually go to the pharmacy or grocery store quickly and relatively stress-free. In a big city, you may have to fight for a parking spot, push through crowds, and wait longer in line. These small inconveniences add up and turn a quick trip for milk into an hour’s business.
Again, this depends on what you are used to, where you live in the city, and the layout of the store. But for the most part, it is more difficult to navigate in crowded places, so this should be kept in mind.
To combat this, it is helpful to shop at the right time . Run errands on weekdays or after hours when there are fewer people in the stores. On non-urgent matters, such as a trip to IKEA, I often go when most of the city is unlikely to go shopping. For example, if you’re not a football fan, Sunday in the Super Bowl is a great day to run on business.
Driving is a challenge
In a large city, driving can be difficult even outside the traffic area. Road plans can be confusing. Streets often have several different names, depending on which part of the city you are in, and construction is ongoing.
Here are some tips for getting used to city driving conditions:
- Don’t rely on your vehicle’s GPS. When you first move to a city, using a phone card is great, but breaking the addiction can help you become more familiar with the city’s layout.
- Get the most out of your commute . Use it to listen to podcasts or audiobooks. Learn a new language.
- Test several different routes to work with to see which one works best.
You also need to remember: traffic rules may be different. In fact, this is about moving anywhere. But when you’re driving around town, it can be even more frustrating. This helps you learn the rules of the road before driving . Mobile phone laws may be different too . Also watch out for pedestrians and cyclists. They tend to own a larger street in large cities.
The problems that come with driving in a big city are pretty much inevitable, but you will do well if you study the city plan and prepare yourself for these obstacles.
Parking has a whole set of rules
One of the biggest complaints about city life is parking. Most people know that finding a place is not easy. But there are a few more things to keep in mind:
- Parking is often an inevitable expense, be it a meter or a toll lot.
- Parking signs are everywhere and rules can vary from street to street. If you don’t read them in full, you might get a ticket, a tow, or both.
- If you get a new job, don’t think that parking will be free. Many employers do not reimburse you for parking costs.
- Even parking on the street or in a parking lot may have a time limit, so be sure to check the posted rules.
- Sometimes you have to move your car during street sweeping hours that happen on certain days of the week. Do not forget!
There are some simple ways to deal with parking in a big city:
- Use an app like Best Parking to look for options nearby.
- Use public transport when it’s more convenient.
- For long term parking, use something like Parkopedia to find the best prices.
- Set a timer on your phone to alert you when a counter expires or when you should move your street sweeper.
- Try an app like PayByPhone so you don’t have to feed the meter if you need more time. You can top up by phone.
Of course, don’t forget to read the parking signs carefully as well. Sometimes the rules don’t just change depending on the block, they can also change in the middle of the block. Keep this in mind, pay attention to the rules and you will be fine.
Waiting for a table is a common thing
It’s foolish to say that there is a line in every restaurant in a big city, but sometimes it seems that way. This may be a more obvious obstacle, but it is easy to overlook.
In a small town or village, you can go to a popular restaurant or bar and find you have to wait, but usually you can just walk away and take the faster option. It’s not always that easy in the city. It is often inevitable to wait for a table or a place in a bar, especially on Friday or Saturday nights.
Again, you can avoid the crowd by getting out early. You will probably also learn how to place reservations even if it doesn’t seem necessary (although you may also find that your favorite location doesn’t require a reservation, which is frustrating in itself).
Less personal space
If you come from a city where there is a lot of space, you may be surprised by the proximity of a big city. As columnist Laura McKnight writes:
The most unpleasant feeling of crowding occurs every morning when I leave the house, and going out the door takes me right into the middle of a busy sidewalk. Still sleepy and uncommunicative at that hour, I am amazed at the sudden appearance of strangers so close to my face just after I shut the front door.
In addition to being surrounded by people all the time, it can be difficult to adjust to your personal space. When you take the subway, walk down the street, or even wait in line at the checkout counter, you can get nervous about how close you are to people.
Of course, you should always be aware of your surroundings and be wary of pickpocket warning signs . And certain body language signals can tell people that you need more personal space whenever possible. The Lone Wolf uses several lines to let people know that you don’t want to be bothered:
- Standing in a large, compact crowd; stay rigid as a pole and avoid any physical movement.
- Contact with eyes should be avoided at all costs.
- Be busy, imagine reading a book or newspaper, pulling out your phone and texting, or watching elevator floor numbers change.
Otherwise, you just have to admit that closeness is part of the charm of big city life.
Life in the city is a lot of inconvenience. Sometimes they can be subtle and unexpected, and it can be difficult for you to adjust them. But knowing about them, you can enjoy all the benefits of living in a big city.