Just Moved? Get Acquainted with Your New City

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

picture of family unpacking boxesAt last! Your household move is completed. You’re in your new home and starting to get things unpacked and placed where you want them. That’s a lot to handle, for sure. But there is one other thing you should be doing. And the sooner you do it, the happier you’ll be. You should be getting familiar with your new locale.

No doubt 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 your bearings …
  • Take a walk and explore your new neighborhood – get to know the “lay of the land,” introduce yourself to the neighbors, discover the closest parks and recreation areas, determine the quickest 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 covering local attractions that interest you – art museums, historical museums (especially those that deal with local history), sports arenas, bike and walking trails, convention centers, and theaters or auditoriums that specialize in stage presentations, for example
picture of internet capable devicesOf course, one of the quickest 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 preferred online resources for finding local attractions. They’ll point you to 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 comfortable with the Internet or phone apps? That’s okay, just stick with actual physical exploration. That’s often the best way to get to know a place, anyhow. Stepping 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 out there.

Here’s another thought. If you really want to get acquainted with people in your new hometown, seek out local clubs and organizations that reflect your interests, your hobbies, or your worldview and join them. You might also think about 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 employ 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.