Savor Being a Tourist While You’re Settling into Your New Home
Awright! Your household move
is finished. You’re in your new home and starting to get things unpacked and stowed where you want them. That’s a lot to do, for sure. But there is yet another thing you should be doing. And the earlier you do it, the cheerier you’ll be. You should be getting acquanted with your new city.
One would hope you did some research on where you’d be going when you first decided or first learned you had to move. Now that you’re here, though, it’s time to really get acclimated …
- Walk around and explore your new neighborhood – get to know the “lay of the land,” say “Hi!” to the neighbors, seek out the nearest parks and recreation areas, calculate the most direct route to your children’s’ schools (either by foot or by car)
- Find the closest businesses to satisfy 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 get hold of brochures covering local attractions that suit your fancy – art museums, historical museums (especially those partial to local history), sports arenas, bike and walking trails, convention centers, and theaters or auditoriums that specialize in stage presentations, for example
Then again, one of the speediest 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 choice online resources for tracking down 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 judge for yourself whether you like them or not.
Not really at ease with the Internet or phone apps? That’s fine, just continue with actual physical exploration. That’s often the best way to get to know a place, anyhow. Heading out and talking 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 give you a clue to what’s going on.
Here’s another thought. If you honestly want to get acquainted with people in your new hometown, look for local clubs and organizations that accord with your interests, your hobbies, or your worldview and join them. You might also contemplate involving yourself in one or another local community service, making yourself useful to the school system, daycare centers, nursing homes, homeless shelters, rescue missions, government agencies, or whatever might best employ 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 one day soon you’ll start feeling that your new hometown is home indeed and you’re a tourist there no more.