Relocating for Fieldwork

Relocating for Fieldwork

The word “moving” gives my heart an instant flutter of anxiety. Settling into a whole new place, moving all of your belongings, and letting go of old habits can feel very daunting. So, moving to begin fieldwork is definitely difficult because the stress of relocating on top of the worry of successfully starting up your project can easily become intertwined. But have no fear, today we have six tips to make relocating for fieldwork as seamless as possible.

Plan ahead
Relocating is stressful, but the more you can do ahead of time the more in control you will feel. For example, call to get wifi set-up in motion before you leave, label your boxes so unpacking is easier, and budget extra funds for the month you are moving. Small, proactive steps like these can make everything feel easier.

Explore the community
Once you arrive at your location, you can finally spring into action on fieldwork. This may make you want to work, work, work, and then work some more. However, make sure you set aside time to explore your new home and meet your neighbors. Your work is very important, but you also want to feel connected to the community you are now a part of. A great way to start is to find a local group you want to join, such as a running club or a book group.

Use your network
When moving to a new place, use your network to find connections that can help you meet friends, get your fieldwork project going, and just feel more comfortable in your new location. If you don’t know anyone in the area, reach out to friends and colleagues to see if anyone can connect you with a mutual friend. You can also reach out to alumni networks from your undergrad or grad school to see if anyone lives in the area. People active in these networks are often eager to meet new people since they may have also recently moved to the area.

Welcome visitors
A great way to cure homesickness is planning visits from friends and family. And speaking from experience, when a friend relocates I am EAGER to go check out the new place they are living in. However, I also want to be respectful of their time and don’t want to stress them out by showing up in their new home. If you are ready for visitors, let friends and family know and they will likely be very excited to make the trip. To help things go smoothly, be clear about your schedule including when you will have time to spend with them and when they can enjoy activities on their own. Having visitors to look forward to will keep your mood boosted!

Be flexible
Speaking from experience, when relocating not everything will go to plan. No matter how prepared you are there will always be at least one thing that will throw you for a loop. However, how you respond to this can make a huge difference. Being flexible and embracing all of the adventures along the way will help you be less stressed and adapt to your new location more easily.

Embrace change
After moving, it can be very easy to get hung up on all of the things you miss from your old home. Yes, it does stink that your favorite barista can no longer make you that perfect latte in the morning, but there might be a local teahouse in your new home that can create your next favorite drink! Being ready to try new things, rather than thinking about what you are missing is one of the best ways to quickly learn to love your new home.

We hope these tips help make relocating to start your fieldwork a snap! Do you have your own moving tips? Let us know on Twitter, @Conserisapp.

Conseris is a data collection app designed with researchers in mind. Collect, store, and analyze your data with or without a wifi connection… perfect for fieldwork!