Updated: Dec 19, 2017
Welcome to RelocateGuru a new social media platform to help everyone feel like a local BEFORE you move!
Like a Pinterest meets TripAdvisor for moving you will be able to search, save and organise everything you need to know about your new town, city or neighbourhood, ask locals questions and find new connections so your new town feels more like home sooner.
"The ideal is to feel at home anywhere, everywhere" - Geoff Dyer
The idea for creating RelocateGuru came from my own experience of having to organise our family moving to a city I knew nothing about, while my husband was sent away for training. Despite researching hundreds of websites, blogs, forums and Facebook groups, I was still lost and there was so much I wished I knew before we arrived. I spent hours looking at school reports and checking house prices to figure out which were the good areas for families. Luckily the apartment I found was in a 'good' area, and we had several expat families as neighbours who knew what it was like figuring everything out for the first time. After a while they shared their local tips, from where a great yoga class was or that there was a toddler class just around the corner, and to download the bus app to buy tickets or if you go to the library on a Friday afternoon there are free kids activities. Then I would find out things from noticeboards in the community centres or from bumping to parents at pick up time at the nursery and a LOT of trial and error! I thought "why couldn't all this information just be in one place!"
When we moved back to our old home town it just didn't feel like 'home' anymore. I would find myself getting frustrated about things that were simpler where we used to live, like getting 4G mobile reception instead of zero mobile signal in the middle of the countryside! I wasn't expecting it to take just as long to readjust to coming back. Our friends had moved away, our favourite coffee shop had closed down, everything had moved to new places in the supermarket, there wasn't space in my son's old nursery so he had to adjust to a new one and make new friends, and there were a range of new recycling bins we had to learn when to put out. (First world problems I know!)
While we have lived back 'home' for a few years now, we live in Aberdeen and because of the Oil Industry, many people move on the 'expat trail' every couple of years and many of my friends were complaining of the same things: organising the move, lack of support from their company, packing and shipping our lives belonging, finding the right school and making sure the kids are ok, navigating all the paperwork required, how to drive on the wrong side of the road, finding a new job (if it was even possible), learning new cultural rules; then finding everything from which supermarket had the cereal your kids like, to finding new friends, the activities and hobbies you like and hundreds of little things like finding a hairdresser you like, a babysitter or dog walker you can trust.
Even after living somewhere for years, there would be local events, a kids activity, or a new shop recommended to me that I didn't know about, or I found out about when it was too late. Also a friend would recommend great therapist or group to join, but I would forget the name of it, then I could never find it on Facebook or Google.
I wished there could be an app where we could share all that local information in ONE place! A one stop shop where you can collect all the things you need to know about your new neighbourhood, so that it feels like home as soon as possible.
On RelocateGuru you can create your own personalised GuideBook to your new city, town or neighbourhood by saving the links to all the things you need to find to enjoy the things you love from your current home, in your new home. You will be able to ask questions to the locals or save other people answers to your guidebook. No more thinking "what was the answer on that forum I saw 3 weeks ago?" You can just save it all in one place and have it organised. You can also help others feel more welcome to your town by sharing your local knowledge, your tips and the GuideBooks you create of all the things you wished you knew and share all the best local businesses that you would recommend to your friends.
I would love to hear what you wished someone had warned you about before your last move. Share your tips in the comments below to help others (and me) to feel like they aren't the only ones!