When I move to a new city, I spend a few days in (for lack of a better word) – ‘shock’. I am am introvert and somewhat overwhelmed by new environments and meeting lots of new people at once. It takes me a few days or even weeks to adjust. Even when I travel to new places, the first few days I am quiet, wary of doing too many things other than walking around and eating preferably in the same place to build familiarity. In these few days, my room is my haven, my routine my stress buster.

For some reason, the moment I am shown my room and I unpack and set my bedside table or the floor beside my bed with my books and pens and such, the room feels familiar. I think doing this many many times has taught me, that this room though strange and new now, will become the safest place in this new world I had walked into. That is a solace undescribable and so potent.

Its also always hard for me in the beginning to interact with a lot of people. It is not completely unusual for me to stutter, not find my words, or repeat myself several times in initial interactions. I often worry that people would think me rude if I didn’t go up to them and engage in conversation spontaneously or refuse invitations to parties and events. But I feel so awkward when I ‘act’ social and when I accept invitations and feel so overwhelmed the minute I step into a room full of new people that I have decided to stop doing it. Now this brings guilt, feelings of inadequacy, all sorts of questions in my head about what people are thinking. But doing it has finally made me realise that nobody cares! Life goes on, for everyone!

People who really care will take the time to get to know you. Those who invited you to be polite will forget all about it because they do it all the time and probably don’t always want to either. You will still hopefully end up having some interesting conversations during your stay, if not making friends and if that doesn’t happen at all, well! that’s why you have the solace of your room.