Just Moved? Get Familiar with Your New Locale06/16/2017 Enjoy Being a Tourist While You’re Setting Up Your New HomeFantastic! Your household move is completed. You’re in your new home and just getting started on unpacking and putting everything away. That’s a lot to handle, for sure. But there is yet another thing you should be doing. And the sooner you do it, the cheerier you’ll be. You should be getting familiar with your new community.Certainly you looked into where you’d be going when you first decided or first were told you had to move. Now that you’re here, though, it’s time to really get acclimated …Walk around and explore your new neighborhood – get to know the “lay of the land,” say “Hi!” to the neighbors, seek out the closest parks and recreation areas, figure out the most direct 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 so forthVisit 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 instanceBut then, one of the speediest and easiest (if less vivid and personal) ways to investigate 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 choice online resources for finding local attractions. They’ll lead 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 up your own mind whether you like them or not.Not really adept with the Internet or phone apps? That’s no problem, just continue with actual physical exploration. That’s frequently the best way to get acquainted with a place, anyhow. Getting out and about and chatting with people in person generally leaves a more powerful impression than does picking information off a computer or phone screen. Still, the Internet can at least give you a clue to what’s available.Here’s another thought. If you truly want to get acquainted with people in your new hometown, check out local clubs and organizations that reflect your interests, your hobbies, or your worldview and join them. You might also contemplate involving yourself in one or another local community service, making yourself useful to the school system, daycare centers, nursing homes, homeless shelters, rescue missions, government agencies, or whatever might best employ your talents. Funny thing about community service (and you instinctively 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.