Finding your team after a move

29 January 2014

Hello, friends. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Monday’s post. I was sad to hear how many of you have dealt with homesickness, but also not surprised — it seems like very few people our age live in the same place they grew up, wouldn’t you say?

A few of you asked me to write about making friends in a new place. While I would love to tackle that topic, I have to think some more on whether I actually have anything useful to share. I feel like we lucked into our friends down here, which is not a very replicable strategy! But I will think on it.


In the meantime, I wanted to touch on a different related subject, and one that is a little cheerier: how to find “your people” after a move. Nope, not your friend people — your service provider people! Moving to North Carolina was the first time I really had to search for a whole new roster of talented professionals — I went to college only two hours from home, so I kept the same hair gal, doctor, etc. throughout undergrad. To be honest, I kept many of them for our first few years after the move, and just scheduled a full slate of appointments for my trips home!! But eventually it got old to be filling my time up North with appointments instead of fun, and I realized that if I were to get sick, it would be better to already have a doctor than to try and find one while feverish.

Over the last five years, I’ve found a guy or gal in almost every category, but some were easier than others! And each seemed to come via a different route. A sampling:

— Hair stylist: Friend recommendation. Tried two other places before settling on this one!
— Ob/Gyn: Yelp, of all places! I started out by asking for friend recommendations, but some weren’t terribly happy with their current provider, and others were located too far from me to be practical. My doctor got glowing reviews on Yelp, so I decided to take a chance, and have been so happy with him! (Yes, him! Didn’t see that one coming, either.)
— Realtor: Friend recommendation
— Vet: Google
— Eye doctor: Yelp again!

This isn’t really meant as an advice post, but written more out of curiosity. If you, too, had to replace your pros, how did you find your new ones? Anyone else have surprisingly good luck with Yelp?!

P.S. If anyone wants my Triangle recommendations, I’m happy to share!

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January 29, 2014 10:06 am

I’m definitely guilty of keeping all my “people” at home in VA (hairdresser, dentist, etc.) I did find a local doctor because I knew that was a necessity; and are great tools for finding doctors/reading reviews!

January 29, 2014 11:50 am

Definitely guilty of not having found any new “people” in DC since my move! I was just telling my mom I need to find a new Ob/Gyn and probably a dentist. Thanks for the reminder!

January 29, 2014 2:43 pm

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to relate to this post, seeing as I only live two hours from where I grew up. We live in the Twin Cities right now, and honestly, with the “polar vortex” that is closing schools left and right because of supremely cold windchills (Minnesotans rarely have school days off because we are normally fully equipped to handle blizzards and we think we are super tough haha), I have definitely been seriously thinking about moving to the east coast! I don’t know if that’s in the cards for us now or ever, but I can relate to your post! When I moved to the Twin Cities from my rural country small town, I had no idea where to go for anything! Like you, I did all my appointments back home when visiting. That’s not realistic now that I’m married and time is limited, so I’ve definitely used friend recommendations as well as Yelp and Google for good places. It’s not fun to have to try a few places on for size, but it is worth it when you find the right people!

Ashley R
January 29, 2014 7:28 pm

I’m going through this right now! My fiance and I just relocated from St. Louis, MO to southern New Jersey. It’s tough! RE: your last post: a LOT of our conversations are about moving back home/elsewhere – definitely trying to break the habit because we’re contractually obligated through my fiance’s work to stay here for two years. Honestly, finding friends and service providers is the hardest part for me! We had so many favorite local haunts in St. Louis – it feels like we’re starting all over. Just finding our new favorite burger bar, mexican joint, chinese takeout, PIZZA – all that stuff is trial and error. I just got my first Jersey hair cut on Saturday…and it’s not terrible, ha! I still haven’t taken the plunge with a nail appointment or spray tan…because let’s just say a lot of the Jersey rumors are true and I’m a little scared :)

We do rely on Yelp a lot, but we’re in an area where it isn’t used frequently and reviews are really hot and cold. I found a dentist for us after asking for a few recommendations from coworkers – we have our first appointment March 1, so keep your fingers crossed for us! Two of my coworkers are young women and they both LOVE their OB/GYN so I suppose I’ll head there when I need to – thankfully right before we moved I went to all my people in St. Louis so I’m up to date for a while!

January 29, 2014 8:49 pm

Wanted to share the experience of a dear college friend of mine on making friends in a new (and albeit, foreign!) place. We are southerners. Born and raised in the south — she and I met on pledge day at UGA. Years have passed, 26 to be exact, and she and I are nearly the only single girls left! She moved to Scottsdale and I to NYC. My experience making friends proved simpler than anticipated due to the nature of entering a small class of executive trainees for a year-long program at Ralph Lauren. I lucked out in meeting those initial folks. Well, between that and joining the Junior League (highly recommend joining/transferring in any new city). My friend that moved to Scottsdale didn’t have it as easy as I did. But what she did blew me away. She went to bars (wine bars and such to sit at the bar during happy hour), sushi restaurants, coffee shops, book stores, sports bars… you name it. And she would introduce herself to a girl that seemed nice everywhere she went. After a few months she knew about 3 people. That’s it. And they didn’t know one another. So she invited those three ladies (and some contacts of old friends/sorority sisters who had a friend or knew someone who knew someone in Scottsdale) over for a girls night. Every Thursday she put her hostess skills to use and invited those girls (and they were invited to bring friends). Attendance was never mandatory or an expectation, but rather relaxed. If you could come, great. If not, NBD! After six months, she had a set of 6 friends. Some had met at her girls night. Others had known each other prior and attended as a friend of someone invited by my friend. My friend had fun with these girls nights- making them unique and fun, so girls wanted to attend and looked forward to the time. Sometimes, a Pinterest idea/DIY craft and other times a fun party favor. Always good finger food and a signature drink! So proud of her and this new adventure!

January 30, 2014 10:46 pm

I love this post! My husband is in the marines and is stationed in Havelock, North Carolina so I just moved down from Vermont to be with him and I think finding your team is the hardest part about making a move that big. I’ve been down here for about a month now and I’m still looking for new doctors and nail salons and hair stylists and all of that. It actually makes me kind of homesick sometimes. I didn’t realize how great of a team I had up there! I’ve been asking around a lot for recommendations for everything but I can be a bit picky so I still haven’t locked anyone in yet! haha
Thanks for the post!