Moving to a new region is a big change. Things will be different and it will take time to feel at home and know your way around. Given that moving house can be one of the most stressful things we do in our lifetime, moving to Northern Ireland is bound to make you apprehensive. Successfully moving all your possessions into your new home is just the start of it – next you’ll begin the process of settling in, that’s to say, making your new home feel like home. For some people this can take a few months, while others need much longer.
Try to avoid big long-term commitments until you understand what is available, and what there is to choose from. The planning you have done will reduce stress and make it easier to relax, and do some of the things you have been looking forward to.
You can do lots of things to help get through the difficult phase of adjusting to your new home.
Getting online is important as this will enable you to keep in contact by email, Facebook or Skype with your family and friends. Also you can check out local facilities, events and activites and this should help you feel more relaxed and get settled in to your new home. Free WiFi is available in many public places including libraries, coffee shops, fast food outlets and restaurants. You can apply to have broadband services installed at your accomodation through BT, Skye and Virgin Media.
Also make contact with people living locally, whether they’re local people, people who have relocated from another country or a combination. They will be able to help and provide guidance for many things, from advice on local facilities and services to tips on what to eat and where to buy it. A good way to connect with locals is to make use of facilities such as our Libraries and Leisure Centres.
Northern Ireland has almost 100 public libraries that are free to join and use. They provide many services and resources and display publications on local information, courses and events. They have books, newspapers, magazines and computers. For further details see the Libraries NI Website
Our public leisure centres have fantastic indoor and outdoor facilities that are reasonably priced and can be used on a pay per visit or monthly membership basis. They have swimming pools, saunas, Jacuzzi’s, steam rooms, gyms, sports halls, racket courts, football pitches and you can join in group classes or arrange a personal trainer. For further details take a look at the Better Website
Belfast City Council manage many of our public parks and community centres. Most parks have outdoor gym equipment, childrens play areas, bowling lawns and tennis courts; there are also events and activities arranged throughout the year. There are even allotments and community gardens were you can grow flowers, fruit and vegtables. See Belfast City Council Website for further details.
It can be cold in Northern Ireland over the winter (not consistently), so it might be a good idea to invest in a warm coat (men, women). If you're intending exploring the beautiful countryside, consider a good pair of walking shoes (men women), or even wellington boots (men, women).