It´s no news that moving to another city can be nerve racking and even very traumatic for some people. Many may think that, if you are a freelancer, then you have nothing to worry about – after all, you virtually just need your PJs, laptop and some painting to remind you of home.
Well, that´s not entirely true.
Freelancers usually have those special places to work where the waiter knows their name and what coffee keeps them pumped up for that never-ending project. They also have to deal with the same challenges as any other person, such as finding new friends or creating chemistry with the new environment so as not to be stuck in their apartment full of boxes at least for the first month.
So, moving to another city can be tricky too once you are far from that comfort and productive routine it took you so much time to achieve in your previous «city-office». To avoid ups-and-downs in your transition, here are some tips from one freelancer new in town to another:
1- Walk around the city in zig-zag. I´ve been using this tactic a few destinations back and it has proven to be a good complement for all those travel guides and blogs you probably read prior to arriving. Trust me, the quieter libraries, parks and coffee shops remain usually off the radar.
2- Select those 3 or 4 calm places to work outside your home as fast as you can. This will help you disguise your routine, force you to change your clothes every two days and avoid what could become a very sedentary life.
3- Talk to the stranger. I know most people will tell you «be careful, don´t talk to strangers», but the truth is, you also have to trust your instincts. If you happen to encounter a fellow freelancer or just casual coffee drinker close by who starts a conversation, don´t be afraid to exchange some ideas or talk about you or your work. You should never say too much, though, – avoid contact details, phone or address – but there´s nothing wrong with talking to someone for a few minutes.
4- Avoid listening to the same playlist every day. You might think that the playlist from 2005 is still the only one that helps you focus. However, more times than not it will make you feel blue or it will remind you permanently of where you used to be. I´d say new place, new tunes!
5- Never EVER forget your book. It´s your very best friend right there in your nomad freelancer backpack. It will avoid your daydreams to be spent looking straight into the barista´s eyes and you to turn into the crazy creepy person at the coffee shop.
6- Check out the sky once in a while. It is, in fact, the same one as anywhere you call home. So take a moment, appreciate it, and enjoy the comfort that comes with that idea.
7- Finally, SAY YES! Say yes to that company for lunch, yes to the party, yes to the brunch, and even to that pity coffee that comes up once in a while! Chances are your good vibes will attract someone´s kindness and he or she might become a good buddy in your new town.