Just Moved? Get to Know Your New Community

Savor Being a Tourist While You’re Settling into Your New Home

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

No doubt 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 your bearings …
  • Walk around and explore your new neighborhood – get to know the “lay of the land,” say “Hi!” to the neighbors, locate the closest parks and recreation areas, calculate the quickest 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 pick up brochures covering local attractions that resonate with you – art museums, historical museums (certainly those partial to local history), sports arenas, bike and walking trails, convention centers, and theaters or auditoriums devoted primarily to stage presentations, for instance
internet compatable devicesThen again, one of the fastest and easiest (if less vivid 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 used online resources for hunting down local attractions. They’ll point 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 judge for yourself whether you like them or not.

Not really at ease with the Internet or phone apps? That’s fine, just stick with actual physical exploration. That’s often the best way to get familiar with a place, anyhow. Stepping out and chatting 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 out there.

Here’s another thought. If you really want to get acquainted with people in your new hometown, look for local clubs and organizations that align with your interests, your hobbies, or your worldview and join them. You might also consider 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 suit 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.