Moving is stressful. It ranks right up there with the most difficult of life's transitions. Whether you are moving to a new neighborhood, a new city or cross country, you are probably feeling some level of stress. And once the packing boxes are all emptied and put out on the curb for recycling, you have a new task! Now it is time to get to know your new community and begin to feel comfortable within it.
Here are some practical tips to help you feel more at home faster:
Get connected. If they haven’t already done so, don’t wait for your new neighbors to ring your doorbell. Knock on their doors to introduce yourself. Even if they don’t become friends, they can be a good source of information and referrals for reliable handymen, babysitters, doctors and other local service providers.
Walk or drive around town. Walking around your neighborhood is the best way to pinpoint local stores, schools, libraries and more–and driving will widen your familiarity with the city and acquaint you with alternative driving routes.
Don’t hesitate to say you’re new in town. Wherever you happen to be, from the dry cleaners to the kids’ new school, let people know you’re new to the area. You may be surprised to find how much good information they’ll want to share with you about their favorite places to go and things to do. They may even have newcomer discounts!
Use social media. Get online to browse upcoming local events, as well as trending restaurants, museums and other local attractions. See whether you agree with that rave review on Yelp. Check to see what your Chamber of Commerce is up to.
Find activities and places of interest. Look online and ask around to find appealing local activities for everyone in the family, such as book clubs, quilting shops, photography classes or sports leagues. Learn about the history of your new community. Go to historical sites. When your out of town guests come to visit, you will feel like a native!
Be purposeful about learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby. You may have more time on your hands since you don't have as many friends right now in your new community. Use that down time to learn a new skill or take up a new hobby. Maybe this is the time to take a wine tasting class or to join a rugby club! You will meet new friends and you may even discover new things about yourself!
Join a Say yes to invitations. Agree to join new colleagues for a drink after work or a neighbor’s invitation to a picnic. The more people you meet as a newcomer, the more likely you’ll be to develop valuable friendships.
Update your registrations. Finally, don’t forget to register your car with the DMV, apply for any necessary licenses and re-register to vote. Officially identifying with your new location will help make you feel more connected to the community.