I live in cities- in fact, just 3 major cities house almost half of the Australian population, and I’ve lived in all 3 for varying amounts of time. Mostly when I move around, it’s for work, and only for perhaps 6 months at a time. This leaves me in a weird limbo where I’m not quite ‘living out of a suitcase’, but I’m also not relocating my entire life.
This can be tough when it comes to settling into your new city and new life, knowing that it’s only temporary (but also slightly too long to be ACTUALLY temporary). So today I’m sharing 5 things I do to help me feel a bit of ownership over my temporary homes. I worked these out while moving around for work, but they can also totally apply to shorter trips and travel for fun!
If you’re in Australia, and are into the Indie-type scene, The Thousands is the original, and the best when it comes to what’s on where. From little galleries, to record fairs, to fun new coffee places, they’ve got you covered for most Australian capital cities.
For literally anything else, anywhere, there’s Time Out. Seriously, nothing else approaches it’s epic-ness.
Choose your ‘places’
When I lived in Melbourne, there was an Italian coffee place around the corner from the office. They did cute cookies and good strong coffee. And a place on Degreaves St in the city that did amazing all day pancakes. And a vegetarian places in Prahan that was ridiculous. While I’m not discouraging you from trying the new things that come along with a new place, having a few staples is what’s going to make a place familiar. And every now and then, on Saturday mornings, I wish I was back in Melbourne, eating those Degreaves St pancakes.
We all know that Air BnB is super awesome, allowing you to stay in a teepee made of recycled soda bottles in a hidden valley outside a town you’ve never heard of. And in cities the benefits list is miles long; Less sterile than hotels, if you’re staying for a week or more it’s usually miles cheaper, you can stay in a heap of neighbourhoods that don’t have many hotel options, you get your own set of locals to hang with (see next point).
BUT sub-letting someones room while they’re out of town is even better than that. Let me tell you why:
-It’s usually even cheaper again (Your weekly rent at home is cheaper than a week at an Air BnB right? If not we need to talk)
-You can live in any neighbourhood you please.
-This one is super easy to use your networks/friends/colleagues to arrange
-Otherwise places like Gumtree (Australia) or Craigslist will have a bunch of listings, ranging from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. Some cities take this up more enthusiastically than others (hint: The higher the average rent price, the more sublet options)
– You get roomies, who probably won’t treat you like a tourist, but instead teach you to be a local.
Seriously, give it a go.
Befriend some locals
I have been lucky- work has usually taken care of this one for me. Each new place is filled with people who are just bursting to show it off!
Sure, you may be travelling in a group, or living in a foreign city with other expats- but nothing beats hanging out at Smorgasburg with people from Brooklyn, drinking coffee at the most hidden laneway cafe with a Melbournite, or skiing the last run of the day with born and bred Whistler folk. They know the ropes (and chances are, the best bars too.)
Befriend some foreigners
Yes, this is the opposite advice, but equally valid! Sydney-siders are not going to want to go to Taronga Zoo for the millionth time. New Yorkers are sick of the top of the Empire State Building. If you want to do these things, you’re going to want people as excited about it as you! Go to a backpackers bar, reach out on Trip Advisor, book a day trip and you will find folk that are seeing these things with fresh eyes too.
What do you think? If there something to add? Share some ‘local’ knowledge with me over on Twitter.