Moving to a new city, whether it’s 30 or 3,000 miles away from your last one, can be stressful–perhaps even more so after you’ve dealt with the last of the packing boxes, because now it’s 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.
Use social media. Get online to browse upcoming local events, as well as trending restaurants, museums and other local attractions.
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. They can be your best chance for meeting new people who share your interests.
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.