Just Moved? Get to Know Your New Community

Enjoy Being a Tourist While You’re Setting Up Your New Home

family with moving boxesFinally! Your household move is over. You’re in your new home and beginning to get your possessions unpacked and stowed where you want them. That’s a lot to tackle, for sure. But there is one more thing you should be doing. And the sooner you do it, the cheerier you’ll be. You should be getting familiar with your new city.

Certainly you looked into where you’d be going when you first set your mind or first were told you had to move. Now that you’re here, though, it’s time to really get comfortable with your surroundings …
  • Take a walk and explore your new neighborhood – get to know the “lay of the land,” introduce yourself to the neighbors, locate nearby parks and recreation areas, calculate the most direct route to your children’s’ schools (either by foot or by car)
  • Find the nearest businesses to cater to your needs – supermarkets, shopping malls, gas stations, movie theaters coffee shops, fast food places, restaurants, libraries, bookstores, and the like
  • Visit the nearest “Welcome Center” and pick up brochures highlighting local attractions that interest you – art museums, historical museums (certainly those partial to local history), sports arenas, bike and walking trails, convention centers, and theaters or auditoriums that offer stage presentations, for example
internet compatable devicesOf course, one of the quickest and easiest (if less direct and personal) ways to explore your new community isn’t by foot or by car – it’s by way of the Internet. Google, Google Maps, Yelp, and Citysearch are among today’s most visited online resources for finding local attractions. They’ll lead you to^pinpoint}78} all the most popular gathering places your community has to offer. Don’t just take the word of online reviews, though. Go to the recommended places and decide for yourself whether you like them or not.

Not really adept with the Internet or phone apps? That’s no problem, just stick with actual physical exploration. That’s often the best way to get to know a place, anyhow. Getting out and about and talking with people in person generally leaves a more dramatic impression than does picking information off a computer or phone screen. Still, the Internet can at least give you a preview of what’s what.

Here’s another thought. If you honestly want to get acquainted with people in your new hometown, find local clubs and organizations that tally with your interests, your hobbies, or your worldview and join them. You might also contemplate involving yourself in some kind of local community service, making yourself useful to the school system, daycare centers, nursing homes, homeless shelters, rescue missions, government agencies, or whatever might best engage your talents. Funny thing about community service (and you instinctively know it’s true!): what you give to the community has a way “giving back” to you. And one day soon you’ll start feeling that your new hometown is home indeed and you’re a tourist there no more.