Savor Being a Tourist While You’re Setting Up Your New Home
At last! Your household move
is finished. You’re in your new home and just getting into unpacking and putting your stuff away. That’s a lot to handle, for sure. But there is one more thing you should be doing. And the earlier you do it, the more contented you’ll be. You should be getting to know your new hometown.
One would hope you investigated 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,” meet and greet the neighbors, seek out the closest parks and recreation areas, calculate the quickest route to your children’s’ schools (either by foot or by car)
- Find the closest businesses to satisfy your needs – supermarkets, shopping malls, gas stations, movie theaters coffee shops, fast food places, restaurants, libraries, bookstores, and so forth
- Visit the closest “Welcome Center” and get yourself some brochures highlighting local attractions that suit your fancy – art museums, historical museums (especially those partial to local history), sports arenas, bike and walking trails, convention centers, and theaters or auditoriums that specialize in stage presentations, for instance
But then, one of the quickest and easiest (if less direct 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 some of today’s preferred online resources for identifying 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. Visit the recommended places and judge for yourself whether you like them or not.
Not really comfortable with the Internet or phone apps? That’s no problem, just stick with actual physical exploration. That’s usually the best way to get acquainted with a place, anyhow. Getting out and about and talking with people in person generally leaves a more dramatic impression than does picking information off a computer or phone screen. Still, the Internet can at least alert you to what’s going on.
Here’s another thought. If you really 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 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 exercise 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.