The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

How to move cities without feeling lonely — December 10, 2013

How to move cities without feeling lonely


When moving places, people experience first a sense of loss, dislocation, alienation and isolation, which leads to processes of acculturation. Sarina Quinlan tells her story.

Over five years ago, I packed my bags and said goodbye to a life in Staines, United Kingdom. I’d lived there, in the same house, my entire life. Traveling and working in Europe, America and Australia as a music journalist and marketing manager, I felt confidently schooled on cultural differences and happy to live anywhere.

On 14 August 2008, 80% of my possessions were hand delivered to a local charity shop and with zero emotional and physical preparation, I was alone, homeless, jobless, ecstatic, and bound for Brisbane. From personal experience, here’s how to beat the loneliness demon and get connected to your new life.

Before you leave

Be aware of the emotional impact of starting a your life in unfamiliar territory, consider the dislocation, the home sickness and the loss of the presence of your support network. Don’t expect to hop, skip and jump over the dramatic changes you experience, give yourself a break. To reduce the natural shock, plot exciting activities to do once you’ve found your new digs. Plan to explore.

When you get there

For those looking to kickstart your own venture or looking to connect, here are some tips on immersing yourself in a fresh start and meeting positive people:


Fanzines, street press, blogs, non-profit organizations and local events. Volunteer and paid positions for contributors exist. Take something you love and contribute to a community, publication or group. For research, local independent cafes, music stores, magazines and flexing the DuckDuckGo or Google machine is essential.

Meeting up and going it alone

From nights out to tech-heavy meetups, check out to join a range of social groups, and check if The Fetch is in your city.

Going it alone to events can be daunting for some, if this is you, I would consider getting some experience dating yourself in your home town before venturing alone in foreign territory. It is also good to know, most of the people that attend events have arrived on their own two feet, no entourage in sight.


Working on your blog? Want to immerse yourself in a creative or tech startup? Plan a coworking space crawl. Visit as many as you can and be social, ask questions, find out how to get involved in events such as Startup Weekend. Hire a desk and collaborate with your new found colleagues.

For Australia, San Francisco, London and New Zealand, check out The Fetch Coworking Space Guide

Reinstate the things you love

Recreate your home routine. Book into yoga classes, join the gym, find your favourite coffee spot to feel more settled. Fill your new home with photos, familiar objects that make you feel like you. All these things will help you reconnect with yourself in new surroundings.

Phone home

Don’t forget to call home regularly to check in and remind yourself of how small the world really is. The emotional grounding and support from face time with your friends and family will help you glide over obstacles that may be present.


Plan a trip home at the end of the first or second year, it will help you evaluate how you feel about the migration and whether you have made the right decision. The visit home will quell some of the torn feeling you may have between your amazing support network at home and your exciting new way of life.

Have you moved alone? What’s your story?

About our contributor // Sarina Quinlan is a marketing consultant and the curator of The Fetch in Brisbane. Follow her on Twitter via @digitalsarina.

Image credit: Drew Struzan, Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox

Hello Lisa – our Berlin fetcher — April 22, 2012

Hello Lisa – our Berlin fetcher

Berlin. Yep, we’re heading there. It took me all of one week out of a month-long stay to fall in love with the place last year and I’m pleased to see we’ve now got a fetch there. The best part about it? We’ve got the amazing Lisa Lang (@lilaineurope) as our city curator! I first met Lisa at a #socialmelb meetup in 2009 and have followed her journey with interest through her days at Sitepoint in Oz and most recently as head of content for Campus Party Germany and print editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. She’s also calls herself a “Geekette, Podcast Nerd and Whip-Cracker”. And there’s more! She’s bilingual! (She was born in Germany.) Check out more on her LinkedIn.

Lisa will be sharing the best events, meetups, community news, jobs and more in each fortnight’s fetch. You can submit items to her via email here, via @thefetchber, FB and don’t forget to subscribe on so we’ll arrive straight to your box. Our first black themed fetch will be sent shortly. As part of Lisa’s welcome, we put a few questions to her:

Lisa Lang

How did you end up where you are today?

Long story, I started as freelance journalist, turned to a photographer, turned into a New Media student in Germany. From there I left for Australia, stay there for five years, started in PR, turned into project manager for web projects, turned into Program Director for web tech/design publishing. Now back in my most favourite city in Europe, fetchin’ for new adventures!

What makes you tick? What makes you ick?

The love and passion for the industry, the people, the projects, the stories. And chocolate and olives (but not necessarily at the same time).

Why do you love ‘fetchin?

I love the hunt; always looking for the next event/meetup, new stories, new people – there is a whole world out there!

What things excite you about our community right now?

The opportunities, the potential – imagine what is possible!

What’s your favourite thing about your city?

The energy! Berlin will go through a lot of changes in the next years and it is just the place to be in Europe right now.

Where can we find you in Berlin?

In one of the bars in Neukoelln Kiez, at coworking spaces, most of the time at some sort of event/meetup/drinks.

How can we connect with you?

I’m @lilaineurope on Twitter.

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