Savor Being a Tourist While You’re Settling into Your New Home
Yay! Your household move
is finished. You’re in your new home and beginning to get things 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 quicker you do it, the cheerier you’ll be. You should be getting familiar with your new locale.
One would hope you looked into 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 …
- 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, figure out the most direct route to your children’s’ schools (either by foot or by car)
- Find the closest businesses to meet 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 (particularly 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
Of course, 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 among today’s choice online resources for finding 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 stay with actual physical exploration. That’s normally the best way to get to know a place, anyhow. Getting out and about and speaking 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 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 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.