Moving is a whirlwind of activity usually packed into a short time frame. That’s why people enjoy getting back into a regular routine. But after you start getting settled, you may realize you don’t really know where the best restaurants are, or maybe the hardware store, even the gas station with the best prices. Not to mention you aren’t in close contact with friends and family.
This time can be lonely and a little scary. Unless you are a social butterfly, meeting new people and trying to feel apart of your new community can be the most difficult part of the transition.
Here are some ways for you to get out, meet people and become a part of the community.
- People who have kids are usually more fortunate. It’s not difficult to strike up a friendship with someone when you’re sitting in the stands for three hours during a baseball game or an hour at dance school. This is also important for your children, the sooner they meet kids their own age in activities they like, the faster and easier they’ll make the transition. The first order of business should be to get your kids active in the hobbies or sports they enjoy.
- Subscribe to the local newspaper. Nothing can make you feel at home more than knowing what’s going on, where to go and what the big issues are in your community. Plus, the advertising will give you a start in discovering local businesses.
- Join the PTA or volunteer at school. Parents who are involved at school will find many social activities as a bonus, from school functions to play-date partners. Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing you’re making a positive contribution to your new home.
- Visit the library and recreation department. Depending on your interests, all of these can be an excellent way to get connected and meet people with similar interests. Many cities offer recreation or hobby classes. Now is the perfect time to start those beginning tennis lessons or photography classes.
- Stop by the Chamber of Commerce and City Hall. There should be plenty of information on local businesses and services. You’ll also get a chance to discover annual activities and learn more about local organizations.
- Get a map and drive. There’s nothing like short family drive on the weekend to help you learn the lay of the land. A map is perfect for learning the community and you can make a stop at a nearby park so the kids can stretch their legs and maybe meet some new friends.
- Groups and clubs. Whether it’s the Girls Scouts/Boy Scouts or 4-H for your kids or a group at a church, there are always activities available. Make sure to discard pre-conceived ideas you may have about any group and check them out, you may be pleasantly surprised.
- Of course, don’t be hesitant about meeting your neighbors. When you see them out front or know they’re home, just knock on the door and introduce yourself. Remember, many times people are just busy with their day-to-day lives to stop by, even though they may very well have the intention of doing so. So go ahead, make the first move.