Moving to a new city can be an exciting, overwhelming, anticipatory time for anyone transitioning to a fresh start. While it can thrilling exploring new opportunities, the thought of starting anew can also seem fairly daunting. In my move from Southeast Asia to Denver, I experienced a myriad of emotions and found myself questioning the prospects that awaited me. How was I going to build a community for myself when I don’t know anyone? Was I going to enjoy the cool weather or be miserable for the duration of winter? How am I going to figure out public transportation?
Like any transition, it’s important to be mindful about our motivations for relocating and be open to new experiences. For me, the opportunity to attend graduate school in a city that offered an array of cultural experiences, delicious cuisine, close-proximity to the mountains (love my winter sports!) and amazing outdoor activity opportunities outweighed the nervousness I felt of moving to a new city. What I love about Denver aside from the aforementioned list of perks, is that there is truly an opportunity for anyone to find their niche. The balance of bustling city culture coupled with the beautiful backdrop of the Rocky Mountains provides a robust environment for all interests.
A few things that really helped in my initial transition were reaching out to individuals and groups who shared similar interests and challenging myself to try new activities as often as my wallet could afford. I was adamant about joining a soccer team, becoming a member of the Colorado Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Association, trying different restaurants, and visiting the many parks that comprise the city’s landscape. By engaging in these activities, I was able to discover different ways of making the most of my limited free time.