When I first moved to Charlotte six months ago, I was in love with the city and was enamored with the newness of my experience. I was charmed by the amicable neighbors who actually waved to each other. As a foodie, I adored all the unique, local eateries surrounding me. I appreciated how green, clean, and bright the city is. I knew I had made the right choice and was in the right place.
But I was hit with a keen bout of homesickness. As an adult, I thought I would quickly overcome the pining for my old home that can plague you when you leave it behind for a new one. Logically, I knew it was a normal part of the adjustment period. It sucked. I missed the easy access to friends and family that I previously took for granted.
For the occasional hermit in me, it’s not so easy establishing a social life and making this new city my home. A wild night of Netflix binging or reading a new thriller is something I’m inclined to do. In order to make new friends and get acquainted with this new city, I knew that I needed to put myself out there and actually, well, go out.
Homebodies occasionally enjoy a night out on the town too. I knew that making friends was an important part of rooting myself here. Having my share of people who “get me” and getting out there to explore the place makes a strange city seem less lonely and more homely. I’ve noticed that my new home is slowly but surely becoming a place that I miss when I’m away from it.
Grab a drink alone: Between work and my commute, I didn’t really have as much time as I’d like to meet people. At the same time, there were so many places I wanted to try but didn’t want to wait for a bestie to go with me. You can feel like the walking “Forever Alone” mascot when you dine alone or grab a quick drink in a bar you’ve been eyeing. Don’t be afraid to try out a new place just because you don’t have anyone to go with. Finding a place or activity that you enjoy allows it to become your own, and it’s a step closer to creating routine places you can look forward to going to. When you meet new people, you can invite them to your favorite spot! Or who knows, maybe you’ll meet them at your spot because it’s their spot too!
Hold onto to who and what you love: Join volunteer activities or clubs that you’re interested in. Not only is it way to meet people, but it’s a way to keep doing the things that make you happy. It’s really important to keep doing the things you love. If you enjoy running, don’t stop your 6 A.M. jogs or join a book club if you’re missing the company of like-minded bookworms. That will also help you feel at ease in your new home since it’s easy to feel a little lost when you don’t know your new surroundings at all.
Keeping in touch with your friends can help too. The downside is sometimes you’ll miss them even more and feel like you’re missing out on their lives, but that’s normal too. With good friends, distance isn’t easy, but it’s not an obstacle. It’s easier now to keep in touch now via FaceTime and Skype (as long as you have good internet connection).
Push past your discomfort: Know that homesickness is usually just a phase. It passes. Strange becomes familiar, new becomes normal, and eventually you’re the one recommending activities to newcomers.