Moving cross country? How to survive and thrive in a new city

A few key things to know before up and moving across the country, or the world.

Whether you're going away to school, moving for a significant other or a job, or just wanted to make a change in your life, moving to a new city definitely has its ups and downs. Let's start with the good: moving to a new city is incredibly exciting. For the first year or so, you feel like a tourist and view everything through an adventurous lens. Suddenly, museums that boast items like the World's Largest Ball of String or arenas for the local minor league sports teams are magnetic, even though in your old city you would have passed them by without a second glance.

Exploring the great outdoors is always enjoyable, especially if you've moved to an area with a climate that's completely different from what you're used to. If you move to a warm area from a cooler one (read: one that gets several feet of snow each winter), depending on your personality, you may be thrilled that you no longer have to mummify yourself to leave the house, or you may be mourning the lack of cold-weather activities. I'm the former - when I moved to Singapore and the locals complained about the heat, I would just smile and wiggle my unencumbered toes in my flip-flops. I often sent photos of my bare feet back to my family (who live in Philadelphia) when they were experiencing yet another brutal snowstorm. Needless to say, these were not well received.

Another great thing about moving to a new city is exploring the local eats. Even cities that don't have a reputation for an exceptional culinary scene will inevitably have some great haunts that dish out reliably delicious grub. When choosing a new restaurant, take recommendations from new acquaintances with a grain of salt. I've been disappointed more than once after getting a hot tip. The key is finding people who share your palate preferences, because what someone else thinks is top-notch, you may find less than appetizing. (Pizza, I'm looking at you.) This is when sites/apps like Yelp, TripAdvisor, OpenTable, and others come in handy. Blogs can also be quite informative. My strategy is to Google "best [cuisine] in [city]" and read the blog posts first. Then I cross-reference the ones that sound interesting with their profiles on the aforementioned sites. If the stars align, I'll test it out.

Going to happy hour is great way to dip your toe into the restaurant scene without spending a wad of cash for a so-so meal. I've gotten a great taste (couldn't resist) of what a full experience would be like at a restaurant by dropping by its happy hour. Scope out the dining area as it gets close to 7 pm. Is it filling up, even on a Tuesday evening? Try out a happy hour appetizer or two. Is it what you expected, or better? Ask the bartender if it's a good place for a meal. Their tips don't generally depend on ordering food, so they're more likely to be honest. If all signs point to yes, it's time to take your relationship to the next level.

Cultural activities are another thrilling element of a new city. Sign up for email newsletters on local goings-on from the tourist bureau, or drop by a locally owned grocery store or coffee shop. They usually have cork boards somewhere in the back (generally near the restroom) festooned with posters for 5k charity runs, festivals, and local artist shows. And whatever you do, keep an open mind. Just because axe-throwing doesn't seem like your thing doesn't mean you won't enjoy it.

Take advantage of local museums, art galleries, and other places that offer low-cost or free activities. Tour of a brewery? Don't mind if I do. Sushi demonstration at the neighborhood grocery store? Sign me up. Presentation on corporate depreciation accounting methods at the local college? Uh...I'll get back to you on that one. But you get my drift.

Volunteering to get to know people and your new surroundings is tried and true. You don't have to sign up for a big commitment; there are plenty of opportunities for one-off sessions or even monthly/bi-monthly engagements. Volunteer Match has an incredible database of opportunities from all over the world. You'll often find opportunities posted on the aforementioned cork boards. Take a gander next time you're waiting in line for the loo to see if anything strikes your interest.

Sounds awesome right? Most of what you'll encounter in a new city truly is exciting and stimulating, which is why I recommend doing it at least once in your lifetime. However, like most things in life, there are a couple of caveats.

First, the act of moving is a real bummer. As anyone who has ever moved in their life can attest, it's universally inconceivable how much stuff you accumulate over time. When I moved from a one bedroom house to my new digs, I literally took an oath never to purchase furniture, appliances, or any type of decoration ever again, simply because it was such. a. pain. to pack them all. And this was just from a one bedroom.

When you move to a new city you also have to find all new professionals for your health and personal care. Finding a new primary care doctor, dentist, hairstylist, mechanic….it's exhausting. Not to mention difficult. Again, I have found the combination of referrals and online reviews to be the best way to identify such individuals. Some have less risk than others; a bad haircut is easy (if slow and painful) to resolve, a lousy dentist...not so much.

Another small annoyance is simply not being familiar with the local geography. I honestly don't know how people survived before Google Maps and GPS. The last time I looked at a map was when I was orienteering leader for the day during an Outward Bound trip in college—let's just say it didn't end well. The problem with Google and GPS is that they often take you on a circuitous or downright absurd route, one you would never have chosen for yourself if you were familiar with the area. However, once you make enough wrong turns and familiarize yourself with your new city, navigating once again will become second nature. Pro tip: intentionally get lost somewhere and see if you can navigate your way out. Consistently relying on a computer is a crutch that will ultimately delay your ultimate goal of becoming self-reliant.

You'll most likely experience multiple conflicting emotions when you move to a new city. The key is to embrace the good parts and look at the less than desirable elements as an opportunity for growth. Except for the actual move. That's a nightmare no matter what. Just reward yourself with a big ole glass of wine when it's done and call it a night.

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Travel Tips

Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

If you want to travel but have a job that is currently holding you back, here are a few of our suggestions for the best jobs for people who love to travel.

For many people, traveling is an amazing experience, but traveling is not always feasible because of responsibilities to work.

One way to get around this roadblock is to get a job that will let you travel and see the world. Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.

Hostelworld HostelworldHostelworld.com

Translator

A translator is a wonderful job for those who want to travel. It will bring you to many places as you work, so long as those places speak the language you can translate. The great thing about translating is the variety of work you can get by translating for specific clients or just translating for tourists in the area. You can choose what type of scene you wish to work in very easily.

Pilot

A pilot fits the definition of a job that gets to travel perfectly. Now, whether you are a private pilot or a commercial pilot, you will still get to fly all over the planet. The only major problem with this job is the requirement of flight classes. But once you get your license, you can fly freely around the world while making yourself money to fund your trips.

Travel blogger

Being a travel blogger is a temperamental job but, if done correctly, it will allow you to visit anywhere you want. Writing to fans as you travel the world can be a fun and exciting way to engage with the planet. This job can be difficult to do, though, as you must be able to write consistently and capture your audience with each post.

English teacher

This may not sound like a job that allows you to travel, but schools all around the world are always looking for more people to teach English.

In this career, you would move near the school that you would teach at and live there over the course of your time there. The interesting thing about this job is that it does not necessarily require a teaching degree, depending on the school and country in question. You also get to live in a new country for an extended period.

When it comes to the best jobs for people who love to travel, these are just a few of our suggestions. There are plenty of jobs where you can travel around the world, but these ones are far-reaching and cover a lot of different lifestyles. They might seem like pipe dreams, but hey, you never know!

Seattle, Washington is a rainy, coffee-fueled, coastal town often referred to as the "Emerald City."

Located against the ecological wonderland of Puget Sound, this cosmopolitan, seaside city is a mishmash of arts, culture, history, nature, and, of course, cloudy weather. Thanks to its proximity to nature, its greenery, and its culturally rich, big-city atmosphere, the city is becoming increasingly popular, both for tourists and those looking for a change of scenery.

The Big Stops: Tourist Seattle

If you only have a few days to visit Seattle, you'll probably want to check out the area's most famous attractions.

For nature lovers and summit-chasers, there's the imposing, wildflower-shrouded Mt. Rainier.

Mt. Rainierthebesttravelplaces.com

Mt. Rainier

For foodies, there's the popular Pike Place Market, a giant patchwork of food-sellers and friendly chaos where you can purchase everything from giant crabs' legs to bottomless amounts of coffee (more on that later).

Pike Place Marketseattle.eater.com

And finally, there's the iconic Space Needle and the Sky View Observatory, which will give you extraordinary views of the city.

Space Needlegetyourguide.com

Seattle Arts and Museums

For arts and culture lovers, Seattle has plenty to cut your teeth on. Don't miss the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a collection of extraordinary blown-glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly Gardensfodors.com

Chihuly Gardens

For art, there's the giant Seattle Art Museum Downtown. Seattle also offers the Museum of Pop Culture, a nonprofit that features all your favorite icons from history, and plenty of other options.

Museum of Pop Culturesmithsonianmag.org

For some history, there's the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which commemorates Seattle's history as a gold rush hub.

There are plenty of quirky attractions—like the giant Fremont Troll, the 18-foot sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood that cuts an imposing figure.

Fremont Trollsillyamerica.com

You could also take in the city from a boat—marine enthusiasts might enjoy visiting to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to explore the history of this port city.

Seattle, of course, also has a gritty underground side—you may know the city from its time at the heart of the '90s grunge movement.

It also has a long, storied history that has left more than a few scars. You can literally see its underground through one of its underground tours, which will take you on a walk through the "buried city," the remnants left over from before the Great Fire of 1889.

Seattle Undergroundpinterest

Natural Wonders

Seattle is notorious for its natural wonders. For a close-up view, there's the Seattle Aquarium, a marine experience that showcases the best of what Puget Sound has to offer.

For more exposure to the beauty of Seattle's nature, try the Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre showcase of Seattle's wetlands and natural wonders.

Washington Park Arboretumtriposo.com

You might also pay a visit to the Alki Beach for some time with the ocean waves.

Alki BeachMetropolitangardens.blogspot.com

Or consider taking a more exhaustive adventure to Discovery Park, a giant and labyrinthine natural park at the edge of Puget Sound.

Discovery Parktrip savvy.com

Food and Drink

Food tours are also popular options for those who want to get more intimate with the city's cuisine, and Seattle is often ranked as one of the best cities for foodies.

It's also a great place for coffee-heads. You might also pay a visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, AKA Ultimate Starbucks, a tasting room that features a coffee library amongst other treats for coffee addicts.

Sarbucks Reserve Roasterydesigner.com

Moving to Seattle

If you're planning on moving to Seattle, locals say there's a few things you should know. First off, it is most definitely overcast the majority of the time, though the rain is rather like a mist. That makes the rare sunny day shine even more, though, locals say, in addition to fostering natural abundance.

The city is generally very congested with traffic, which can be noisy, though it offers great public transportation options, from buses to rail—regardless, you'll want to get an Orca Card for that.

Like every city, Seattle has a number of diverse and charismatic neighborhoods. For example, there's the beachy, more laid-back West Seattle.

West SeattleWest Seattle

There's the vibrant Capitol Hill, a hub of arts, culture, tech bros, and nightlife (during non-COVID times).

There's the historic and artsy Pioneer Square, featuring plenty of museums, shops, galleries, and pubs.

Pioneer Square SeattleExpedia

Fremont is a more bohemian area. Belltown is a trendy waterfront neighborhood that's close to everything.

In general, Seattle residents love the city for its proximity to nature, from beaches to glaciers, and its abundance of arts and cultural attractions. As Kimberly Kinrade said, "Seattle is for people who love culture, but refuse to sacrifice their wild nature to attain it." Residents dislike the steep cost of housing and all things that come from rising prices, including the city's large homeless population.

In general, the city is known as environmentally conscious, liberal, and dog-loving. The people are often referred to as nice but possibly a bit standoffish and cold (the "Seattle Freeze" is when you make plans to hang out and then bail, which is apparently very common). The rain can certainly get depressing, but the proximity to nature helps.

Remember, if you do happen to move: umbrellas are dead giveaways for tourists.


What's your favorite part about Seattle? What did we leave out? Let us know at @thejourniest on Twitter!

Travel

Weed World Candies Exist to Prey on Gullible Tourists

Weed is still illegal in New York, but scamming tourists is not.

You wouldn't know it walking around midtown Manhattan, but marijuana is still illegal in New York.

It does seem strange to think that perhaps the most metropolitan city in the US would be lagging behind so many other parts of the country that have legalized possession, production, and sale of cannabis and THC products, but it's true.

New York's decriminalization of marijuana has led many smokers to be more brazen with their public consumption in recent years, and Governor Cuomo recently announced plans for limited legalization for recreational use at the state level. But for the time being the sale of products containing THC is still very much illegal.

buy happiness You sure about that?

Adding to the confusion is a company that has sprung up to prey on tourist's uncertainty. Weed World trucks have multiplied at a staggering rate since they first started appearing in Midtown and the Village a few years ago. Easily a dozen RVs and vans now line the tourist-dense streets of Manhattan, advertising Girl Scout Cookies and Gorilla Glue, clad in marijuana-leaf decals and occupied by employees who are paid either to be stoned out of their minds, or just to pretend they are.

With eyes nearly in slits and an air of relaxation that suggests that customers are temporary interludes from a permanent nap, they will promise you as much as they can get away with while letting their branding do most of the work. They will sell you four lollipops for $20, which would seem like a great deal if not for the fact that they will not deliver on the strong implication that they'll get you high.

They have a Twitter account where they celebrate the supposed availability of weed and claim to "have New York locked down." They'll even sell you vape cartridges that advise you to "get medicated," and which are packed with potent doses of… flavor?

weed world truck

An employee once assured me that their candies do contain THC—maybe they wouldn't be so brazenly dishonest today—and in a drunken state I coughed up $5 to test that claim. There is a faint weedy taste to their candies, and you may find trace amounts of CBD inside, but that's it. It's a scam. There is no THC. Nothing that will give their customers the experience they're selling.

Worse than the trucks is the Weed World Candies storefront that opened in midtown in 2019. Just walking past you would swear that people were passing a massive blunt inside.

The smell is unmistakable and overpowering, except that it's fake. Whatever chemical fragrance they pumped onto the street, it was not connected to anyone smoking weed. Inside, the psychedelic wall art complemented shelves lined with suggestive candies and boxes emblazoned with pot leaf insignia.

Whatever the venue, they are all too happy to sell you overpriced hemp products and CBD creams and chocolates made to look like nugs. And if you're a tourist, or a moron like me, you might believe the scam long enough to give them money, but nothing they sell will get you high.

weed world store Hiroki Kittaka

The owners of Weed World, Judah Izrael and Bilal Muhammad—who prefers to go by "Dro Man" or "Doctor Dro"—will defend their products by claiming that they serve to promote legalization and decriminalization efforts by normalizing the idea of public sale of marijuana. But at no point in the purchasing process is the illusion that their candies will get you high broken. At no point are their customers offered literature explaining the mission of Weed World.

On their website's FAQs page, there is no mention of THC or its absence from their products, but the first question, "How much should I eat?" is answered, "It's all based on your tolerance but there's no limit." Tolerance for what? Sugar? The company—which originated in Alabama and has spread to cities around the country—mostly seems like a very profitable way to sell candy to gullible adults.

weed world wall art Nicole Mallete

The best thing I can say in their defense is that one of their trucks was recently busted by police in Saraland, Alabama, with products that "tested positive for marijuana." Assuming this isn't a screw up or deliberate frame-job by the police, it's possible that some of the Weed World trucks are using their faux activism as a front for selling actual drugs. If so, that would be the most honest thing about this company. Until that's confirmed, ignore these trucks and maybe just ask a friend for a hookup.