So (I'm now aware that nearly every blog has started "So..."), as you may know if you follow me on Twitter (I then follow with that line too on most blogs) I've recently moved away from my home, job, family and friends in Nottingham to Shrewsbury, nearly 100 miles away.
It's been a crazy couple of months and it's been one hell of a ride with plenty of ups and downs. It's surprising how many people I talk to relocate due to a partner's job or something along those lines but no matter what advice you can be given, you never know how you'll react until it's actually happening.
With the boyfriend leaving Nottingham 2 weeks before I did, back living with the folks for a couple of weeks, the battle of having to find a new job and travel for interviews despite having a full time job still, buying stuff for the new flat, being offered a job and signing a contract, trying to see as many friends and family members as I could before I left, having made 3 trips to Shrewsbury with car or van-fulls of belongings, leaving the Mum for the final time, being offered a job with the company who I already worked for and being beyond happy to have it, settling in and setting up the flat and starting a new job.... it was a CRAZY ride to even start our new life let alone get used to it. But I've learnt some key things that I'll take with me if I ever have to do this again...
1- Don't panic - everything will fall into place!
My biggest panic was trying to find a job, spending hours tralling through job sites and applying for every job going - as there were no jobs with Boots going when we first found out we were moving, I applied for everything from admin and office jobs, to being a waitress or flipping burgers in Maccys. The big task was trying to attend interviews around a full time job but I eventually got offered 2 totally different jobs, one in Frankie and Bennies as a Team Leader and one as a Care Assistant driving around looking after old people - I accepted and signed a contract for the Care Assistant job! However a couple of days before I was due to start I gotta call offering me a great job with Boots which had suddenly become available... so I guess that good things come to those who (attempt to) wait!
2 - Twitter is the best Teacher and form of information.
I've always been a fan of Twitter being the source of the best information but even using the hashtag Shrewsbury a couple of times, I had so many people Tweeting me, welcoming me, giving me tips on the best things to do and places to see and generally helping me beyond belief. Me and the boy had no clue of the best places to eat or things to do and all I had to do was turn to Twitter for what to do on a Saturday morning in the sunshine. It's great to get involved in group chats which may happen at a certain time every week to be aware of what's happening at the time and any great offers or information.
3 - If friends say they'll be visiting all the time, they're full of shit.
As you can imagine, I had all my friends telling me they'd come and visit within the first few weeks of me leaving - have they? No! My very best friends either have visited or have put dates in the diary for over the summer but I guess I was being naive with certain people thinking they'd make the effort. I've been back to Nottingham a couple of times and tried to see the friends who matter most and that's what keeps me going. I guess now that it's a case of being those people who only know what eachother are up to thanks to Facebook. Main lesson: you learn who your friends are.
4 - Don't sit and get bored.
As the boyf works most nights and every weekend, the first couple of weeks were so hard with the feeling of homesick taking over due to having nothing to do and not knowing anyone. Eventually the feeling passed but I think it's down to the fact I joined a gym so I practically live there most evenings and that's when I got the idea to start this blog. I still don't know anyone really, other than people at work I've not made any friends that I could text to meet for a drink or something to eat and I still sit in the flat most evenings alone but I've found things to keep me busy to stop myself getting both homesick and bored! Twitter has been a great help in people giving me suggestions on what to do over the weekend and that has been just brilliant.
5- Take time to explore your new place!
Between leaving and starting jobs, I gave myself a week break to make sure that I could spend time getting to know the area and where the key things are. EG, Asda and Tesco, the gym, nearest and best places to eat and also to have a few hours in the town centre. I spent the day in the town centre just walking around and looking at what shops were where and getting to know the general area!
Oh one more thing... enjoy it!