Savor Being a Tourist While You’re Setting Up Your New Home
At last! 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 quicker 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 …
- Walk around and explore your new neighborhood – get to know the “lay of the land,” meet and greet the neighbors, discover the closest parks and recreation areas, work out the most direct route to your children’s’ schools (either by foot or by car)
- Find the nearest businesses to meet 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 covering local attractions that suit your fancy – art museums, historical museums (certainly those that deal with local history), sports arenas, bike and walking trails, convention centers, and theaters or auditoriums that offer stage presentations, for example
Of course, one of the quickest and easiest (if less engaging 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. Visit the recommended places and decide for yourself whether you like them or not.
Not really adept with the Internet or phone apps? That’s all right, just stick with actual physical exploration. That’s often the best way to get acquainted with a place, anyhow. Stepping out 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 show you what’s what.
Here’s another thought. If you honestly want to get acquainted with people in your new hometown, look for local clubs and organizations that coincide with your interests, your hobbies, or your worldview and join them. You might also contemplate involving yourself in this or that 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 it won’t be long before you start feeling that your new hometown is home indeed and you’re a tourist there no more.