Savor Being a Tourist While You’re Settling into Your New Home
At last! Your household move
is over. You’re in your new home and just getting into unpacking and putting everything away. That’s a lot of work, for sure. But there is yet another thing you should be doing. And the sooner you do it, the more contented you’ll be. You should be getting to know your new locale.
No doubt you looked into where you’d be going when you first set your mind or first were told you had to move. Now that you’re here, though, it’s time to really adapt …
- Walk around and explore your new neighborhood – get to know the “lay of the land,” say “Hi!” to the neighbors, locate the closest parks and recreation areas, determine the quickest route to your children’s’ schools (either by foot or by car)
- Find the closest businesses to cater to 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 pick up brochures highlighting local attractions that resonate with you – art museums, historical museums (certainly those focused on local history), sports arenas, bike and walking trails, convention centers, and theaters or auditoriums devoted primarily to stage presentations, for instance
Then again, one of the fastest and easiest (if less vivid and personal) ways to explore 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 most employed online resources for hunting down local attractions. They’ll point 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 at ease with the Internet or phone apps? That’s no problem, just stay with actual physical exploration. That’s often the best way to get familiar with a place, anyhow. Stepping out and chatting with people in person generally leaves a much stronger 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, look for local clubs and organizations that align 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 suit your talents. Funny thing about community service (and you intuitively know it’s true!): what you give to the community has a way “giving back” to you. And it won’t be long before you start feeling that your new hometown is home indeed and you’re a tourist there no more.