Just Moved? Get to Know Your New City

Savor Being a Tourist While You’re Getting Settled in Your New Home

family with moving boxesYay! Your household move is finished. You’re in your new home and beginning to get your stuff unpacked and placed where you want them. That’s a lot to handle, for sure. But there is yet another thing you should be doing. And the sooner you do it, the cheerier you’ll be. You should be getting familiar with your new locale.

Undoubtedly you looked into where you’d be going when you first determined or first learned you had to move. Now that you’re here, though, it’s time to really get acclimated …
  • Go for a stroll and explore your new neighborhood – get to know the “lay of the land,” meet and greet the neighbors, discover nearby parks and recreation areas, work out the fastest route to your children’s’ schools (either by foot or by car)
  • Find the closest 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 closest “Welcome Center” and get yourself some brochures pointing out local attractions that suit your fancy – art museums, historical museums (most of all those partial to local history), sports arenas, bike and walking trails, convention centers, and theaters or auditoriums that specialize in stage presentations, for example
internet compatable devicesBut then, one of the fastest and easiest (if less engaging and personal) ways to learn about 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 choice online resources for hunting down local attractions. They’ll direct 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 make your own determination as to whether you like them or not.

Not really comfortable with the Internet or phone apps? That’s okay, just stick with actual physical exploration. That’s frequently the best way to get to know a place, anyhow. Getting out and about and speaking with people in person generally leaves a much stronger impression than does picking information off a computer or phone screen. Still, the Internet can at least show you what’s out there.

Here’s another thought. If you truly want to get acquainted with people in your new hometown, find local clubs and organizations that coincide with your interests, your hobbies, or your worldview and join them. You might also consider 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 intuitively know it’s true!): what you give to the community has a way “giving back” to you. And it’ll be no time at all before you start feeling that your new hometown is home indeed and you’re a tourist there no more.