Relish Being a Tourist While You’re Settling into Your New Home
At last! Your household move
is done. You’re in your new home and just getting around to unpacking and putting your stuff away. That’s a lot of work, for sure. But there is one other thing you should be doing. And the quicker you do it, the more contented you’ll be. You should be getting to know your new community.
Certainly you researched where you’d be going when you first determined or first were informed you had to move. Now that you’re here, though, it’s time to really get your bearings …
- Go for a stroll and explore your new neighborhood – get to know the “lay of the land,” introduce yourself to the neighbors, locate nearby parks and recreation areas, calculate 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 so on
- Visit the closest “Welcome Center” and pick up brochures covering local attractions that resonate with you – art museums, historical museums (most of all those focused on local history), sports arenas, bike and walking trails, convention centers, and theaters or auditoriums devoted primarily to stage presentations, for example
But then, one of the fastest and easiest (if less direct 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 some of today’s choice online resources for tracking 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 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. Stepping out and chatting with people in person generally leaves a more lasting impression than does picking information off a computer or phone screen. Still, the Internet can at least show you what’s going on.
Here’s another thought. If you truly want to get acquainted with people in your new hometown, find local clubs and organizations that reflect your interests, your hobbies, or your worldview and join them. You might also consider 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’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.