If your New Years resolution was to make it through a move to a new city then congratulations, a lot of the heavy lifting has already been done. Now it’s time to get acquainted with your new hometown. It can be overwhelming, even intimidating at times, but starting the year in a new city gives you an opportunity to explore, meet new people and try new things.
- Every city, no matter how small, has at least a park or two. Parks are centers of activity where the community congregates, and they offer an array of outdoor entertainment. Plan a family outing at a new park each week to find the one you like best.
- If you have kids, you’ve probably already scoped out the schools and had all the necessary paperwork transferred over to the schools your kids will be attending. Once you’ve relocated, take the time to meet with your kids teachers, the school faculty, coaches, etc. It’s a great way to meet new people and get a better feel for who will be interacting with your kids.
- A move can be especially hard on kids. Help them adjust to their new hometown by signing them up for the organizations and activities they enjoyed in your previous city. Ask them if there are new things they’d like to try that may not have been available before.
Becoming Familiar With Your Surroundings
- One of the first things you’ll want to get is a map of the town if one’s available. If not, break out whatever handy GPS you have. Now keep that map or GPS in your pocket or purse and start exploring. Drive, bike or walk different routes to become familiar with the lay of the land. Don’t worry if you get lost. Figuring out how to get back on track is one of the best ways to learn your way around.
- Even though you’re technically a local, stopping by the city Visitor’s Center is a good idea. The center will have a wealth of information on everything that makes the city special. You’ll also get great advice from the people that work there.
- Make note of where the closet hospitals, fire stations and police stations are in relation to your home, kids school and work.
- Get neighborly. Your new neighbors will naturally be curious about who’s moving in next door. If they don’t mosey by while the moving truck is still out front, go by your closest neighbors’ homes and introduce yourself. Let them know the trucks won’t be there long and once you get moved in you’d enjoy getting to know everyone a little better. Another great way to get to know your neighbors is to volunteer at the next neighborhood event.
Support Your New Community
- Chain stores are everywhere. They don’t offer anything different than they did before. However, that mom and pop shop down the street, that can only be found in your new city. Forgo the Wal-Marts, CVSs and McDonalds for a while and opt to shop at a local store instead.
- Each community has town hall or city commission meetings. If you want to learn about current events and issues in your new community attend one or two.
- If your new home is in an HOA find out who the officers are and introduce yourself. Join an HOA meeting – they would probably appreciate your fresh perspective.
This is a game plan for getting your year started in a new city. Keep yourself connected throughout the year by exploring a new neighborhood each week/month, shopping at local business instead of franchises and remaining active in local organizations, charities and public events.