On Settling Into Somewhere New

After being without my family in Toronto and now Montreal I’ve learned that that there are certain places and activities that make living somewhere more comfortable.

I’ve now been 8 months in Montreal and  having a week off  has made me realize that there are certain things that make me more comfortable living out here. Recently my biggest discovery is that knowing the location of a good book store is important to me. Back in Toronto it was Swipe Books and now here in Montreal its Drawn & Quarterly. Having good quality books available to big creature comfort to me…. yup I’m a nerd.

There are other things that give me comfort. Whenever I’ve needed to think I find myself going to the Vieux Port/ Old Montreal to check out the old cobbled streets or have a view of the St. Lawrence seaway. I  also have two bakeries that I tend to frequent and a Thai fast food place I go to when I don’t feel like cooking. In terms of person to person contact I’ve also discovered the Montreal New In Town Meetup where I can go and grab beers with people who are in a similar spot to where I am.

Rather than just living in a place, I think connectedness is important and that’s where knowing things are comes into play. We aren’t just people who go from home to work and then home again. Having a feeling of familiarity and comfort in your surroundings helps with your state of mind.

What is important (for me at least) to do when you live in a new place?

  • Explore your neighbourhood. Knowing what is around in your immediate vicinity makes you feel more comfortable and as a side benefit can give you places to check out later for activities.
  • Find places relevant to your interests. Not having access to activities that you previously had can be a bit of a downer. Find a comfy coffee shop or seek out a place that provides access to the activities/classes that you’ve enjoyed. This provides you with a feeling of continuity.
  • Find a group of like minded people. Going to a place alone can be tough. Having a group of people that you can talk to and share experiences with makes things a bit easier and can relieve feelings of frustration and isolation.

So while I’ve been unpacked for a few months in Montreal I’m still sort of still settling in and understanding my surroundings. In another 8 months I’ll have to see where things go!



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