Back in February 2020, I had been in Norwich a month when out of nowhere, my then partner ended our relationship. Suddenly I was heartbroken, single and in a city that I now realised I had no idea how to navigate with a new business I had spent the last 6 months launching. So, trust me when I say I know how it feels to start again in a strange city.

After 3 days of crying and generally feeling sorry for myself, I decided I needed to adapt and quick, that’s why I decided to write this article and I am guessing why you’re reading it.

So i am going to start at the beginning I discovered I needed to answer the following questions:

1. Do I really want to live here?

2. Can I find my way around?

3. What kind of people do I want to meet next?

4. What career do I want and is this the ideal environment for it?

The Action Plan.

Step 1 – Figuring out if you truly love the place you’re living in. if you’re like me you know where nothing in the city is: Here is where the daily walk comes in. choose one place each day a shop that you walk past and like the look of, choose a different place each day and go explore, if you’re like me places with coffee and cake help (but I do live in Norwich these are not hard to find).

Tip: I choose to visit all the places my ex either wouldn’t let me go to or ushered me past on the way to his favourite place. avoid places you visited with other people this is about you what do you want to do?

The thing about this step is you’re either fall in love with the city you’re in or hate it.

Step 2 – Pick somewhere out of the way preferably the other side of the city get a taxi there pay attention to the route they take and then walk home. This is how I found my way around I did this once a week.

Tip: It’s good to pair this with something you need to do, for me it was a laundrette it was a 40 minute walk back but I learnt about the little side streets and entrances.

Step 3 – People

This one is probably the hardest step depending on whether or not you’re an introvert – I was! I broke this down two ways first social media as I run a local magazine local people were naturally drawn to social media and talked to everyone, I do mean everyone, keeping an open mind and remembering not everyone is honest and straight-forward. But here’s the thing it’s about practice so use your Facebook or Twitter account to practice great thing is if you mess it up you can simply delete the conversation and it never happened. When you’re confident enough only you can judge this, you’re ready to apply the same technique to people out in the world.

Tip: Twitter is brilliant for practice it is fast paced and people generally spend hours on there each day.

Step 4 – Career.

I left this one to last on purpose because by now your feeling more confident you love your new city and are feeling at home and may have even had a few drinks with some new friends, so here comes the tough question how does your job make you feel?

Now if you’re like me the answer to this is yeah, I love my job – but then someone asked me this (it’s a game changer) If you won the lottery tomorrow what aspects of your job would you still do?

I can guarantee there is something that you would offload if you could. You can apply this too if you hate your job. What would you do if money wasn’t an option?

The second part of this is does the city where you are support the industry you want to work in.

I was lucky Norwich is a city that supports Creative practice and has a great buy local and support small business ethos, the idea place to launch a magazine, science and technology also seem to do well, and of course Norwich is Foodie Heaven!

So ask yourself what industries are supported here, what businesses are there a lot of who is thriving who is struggling.

Tip: this one is really all about looking around you and research, take to social media type in the name of your town see what comes up, talk to people what are they buying. If you find the city doesn’t support your chosen industry research where does and plan your next move.

Step 5 – Rinse and Repeat,

Simular to the words of Brian McKnight ( R&B singer) when you’re done go back and start at 1. Life is a process but you might as well have fun completing it.

Best of luck

Melissa xx