To the Native,
Flashback to one year ago, my first weekend in the Music City. First thing’s first when moving to a new city, find friends. This sounds minor compared to acquiring fundamentals like food, water, and shelter, but think past that. Upon moving to a new city, most know the ropes: find an overpriced apartment in an area of town that native’s probably know better not to live in, make sure the moving company you’ve hired doesn’t steal any of your not-so-expensive kitchenware, and make sure you have something to sleep on when you open the door to your empty apartment. We all know this. We can all hold our own when it comes to getting the fundamentals of moving together. Maybe I’m making a major assumption here in the ability of humans to be adaptable because I’ve now moved to two cities on my own, but let’s go with it.
Back to friends. Friends is a lose term for the people that have lived in your new city longer than you have (one day). These people can come from a distant cousin’s high school garage band, a member of your sorority/fraternity who may or may not know who you are, that one time you went to that St. Patrick’s Day party and drank with that girl/guy until 2am. Think to the outskirts of your network. Even if you have to call up your long lost friend from high school who you haven’t talked to in years but just so happens to live 3 miles from your new apartment, do it. Get out there. It’s all exciting moving to a new city until you realize when you get there that you’re pretty much utterly alone. When that realization comes, have a plan of attack.
Lucky for me, I had that friend from high school that was my link to Nashville. We’d reconnected the year before I moved and she, like me, is incredibly outgoing and introduced me to a number of people that a year later I am still in touch with. Granted, I know we’re not all outgoing, but try to push yourself out of your box people! Anyway, if you don’t feel like calling up a weak link just to ease the painful reality that you’re the “newby”, then here are some options for a first weekend in Nashville. These are general categories to be later broken down by detailed reviews, but just hang in there with me.
- Coffee Shops: There are plenty of them in Nashville filled to the brim with all walks of life from college students to aspiring musicians to MBA candidates to financiers and entrepreneurs. Even just sitting at one with only a book to keep you company will allow you to be a fly on the wall. Okay, so don’t be too creepy and eavesdrop too hard, but don’t underestimate the sights and sounds of a coffee shop. This is one venue where people are sober (most of the time?), enjoying a caffeine boost (extra friendly?), and likely driven to get out and about in Nashville just like you. Stay tuned for some of the best coffee shops that I’ve found in my first year.
- Parks: You’ve moved to the MID-SOUTH (notice my excitement because I’ve escaped the snow) which means parks are surprisingly available most of the year. Nashville has some amazing parks that are great for taking a quick hike or run, reading a book, enjoy a bite to eat, playing games, etc. The list goes on and on. Have you ever been to a park? Yea well then you know what goes on. Just wait until you hear about the parks here.
- Fitness Classes: Yes, to most of you this probably sounds nuts. You just moved to Nashville, you haven’t unpacked a single thing, therefore you have no idea wear you gym shoes are, but hear me out. If you’re into fitness, attending a class and being open to other patrons is a great way to find people who share common interests with you. Nashville offers a number of diverse fitness opportunities, so don’t be afraid to try one. If anything, it will ignite your competitive side and you can take out all of your frustration with your movers on that boxing bag in front of you.
- Bars/Music Venues: This is the Music City. Nightlife IS kind of of a thing here. You can pretty much go out any night of the week and find people doing the same thing you are, blowing off steam and enjoying a drink. Clearly there are a number of options here, but some are better than others depending on the mood you’re in and the drinks you like (and the type of inebriated people you prefer to be around
- Community Events: There’s always stuff going on around town. You just have to find it. That’s what I’m here for!
The key here is to step out of your comfort zone and to try something new. Sure, your first weekend in Nashville can be spent sifting through boxes full of trinkets and mementos wrapped in newspaper of the life you left behind. But INSTEAD considering letting those boxes sit for an extra couple of days, blowing up your air mattress because your bed has been hijacked by your movers who are still a day’s drive away from delivery, and going out. Trust me, you won’t regret it!