Things to Know When You Move to a Big City from a Small Town

Before making the move from small town to big city, residents should know the following things. Big city life can be frightening at first, especially if it is not something a person has experienced before. Some differences do not become apparent until a person has lived somewhere for awhile.

Common issues include how long it takes to travel somewhere, the general challenge of driving around, and dining out. While these may seem obvious, it is worth taking on board the following advice.

Shopping trips take longer

happy woman in winter clothes with shopping bags

Nipping to the local food or drug store is easy in a small town. A short walk or a quick car ride is all it takes. There are fewer people to try and get round, less competition for car parks and the whole excursion is much more relaxing than in the city.

Try and make trips when the rest of the city isn’t, for example, don’t visit a furniture store on a weekend when families tend to make trips. Go when other residents are distracted by big events. If football isn’t to your taste, then visit the shops when major games are on.

Getting around by car is tough

GPS navigational system on dashboard of car

Driving around a big city can be bewildering. Street names often aren’t logical, there is building work on every corner and far too many cars on the road. Follow these hacks to improve your commute:

Only use GPS when you first arrive. Learn to navigate by local landmarks so you can find your way around by memory. Use the extra time in the car to listen to an audiobook. Try that classic novel you didn’t get through at school or learn a foreign language.

Double check the rules of the road. Cell phone usage differs by state, as does who has priority where. People on foot or cycling will always take priority in a city. Cut down your commute by plotting out different routes and seeing which one is faster. This is also a good way to explore the city.

Be prepared to wait for a table

Customers line up to buy steamed buns which Chinese President Xi Jinping ate on Saturday, at the Qing-Feng steamed buns restaurant in Beijing, December 29, 2013. Xi showed off the common touch on Saturday with a surprise visit to a steamed bun restaurant in Beijing where he paid for his food and happily chatted to surprised customers.      REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (CHINA - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY FOOD BUSINESS)

It is often the case that restaurants in cities are popular, and popularity means a long wait for a table. At weekends, hot spots fill up quick, so you might be better to wait in line than try somewhere else which could be just as full. Often restaurants have a bar that you can wait in which improves the experience. Many trendy restaurants do not take reservations these days, but if your favourite place does, book well in advance. Try eating earlier in the evening to avoid the nighttime rush.

To make your move from small town to big city comfortable, learn to plan ahead. Research journeys and busy times, and think logically about when crowds will occur. Buck the trend by eating earlier or taking a less popular route to work. Don’t be scared by big city life, just prepare well and ease yourself into things.