How To Get To Know a New City
Perhaps you’re moving somewhere new to take on a different job, to be closer to family, or to experience something new and exciting. A move to a new town or city can be exhilarating, but it can also be intimidating. If you don’t yet know your way around your new home, consider these tips to get to know your new city the same way you would a new friend.
Keep Things Light
Avoid too much commitment before you know the area well. Consider waiting to purchase a house for the first year; look into furnished apartments or townhomes instead. This can help you get a feel for where you’d like to settle down before you’ve signed a 30-year mortgage. Just like in a relationship, it’s a good idea to learn more about your area first. Then when you are ready to commit, it should be easier to decide on a home. Plus, there will be less pressure to buy quickly if you already have a place to stay.
Play the Tourist
At first, moving to a new town may feel a bit like a vacation. Go ahead and treat it like one, and you will quickly learn to fall in love with your new home. Being a tourist is like getting a highlights reel of a place, and this will help you make a mental outline of your new city’s personality and identity.
Use Your Network
As you settle into your job, neighborhood, or community, you will likely begin to meet new people. It can take time to establish strong relationships, and that time can be spent enjoyably by asking more about the place you’re living in now. Where do locals like to eat? What are some hidden gems for shopping, outdoor activities, or leisurely time? Are there foods, games, or types of entertainment or work that are unique to the area? Local residents are often the best resource. Use your intuition to suss out the social patterns in your community as well.
Whether in a club, gym, church, government, or school setting, cities can always use more involvement from community members. You may find through your touring and networking that you feel more at home in certain areas. Perhaps there’s a community center nearby with a great youth program you’d like to get involved in. Maybe the local church needs some volunteers.
A move to a new place is a unique adventure that can be both fun and exhausting. Go at your own pace, but don’t be afraid to jump in. Put yourself out there and you may rapidly increase the rate at which your new city begins to feel like home.