Welcome to your New Neighborhood!Posted 09/21/2015
The boxes are unpacked. The pictures are hung. Now, it’s time to get to know your new neighborhood! Nervous? That’s natural. Equal parts exhilarating and nerve-racking, being the new kid on the block means you get the thrill of exploring new surroundings – as well as the mild anxiety of navigating the physical and social aspects of an unfamiliar setting.
It’s a little like the first day of school. Or starting a new job. You know you’ll eventually settle in to a familiar routine, but the question is when. And how. These helpful tips may ease your transition, whether your journey takes you around the block or across the country:
- Think like an explorer, live like a local. One of the best things about moving to a new neighborhood is the opportunity to find “your” places, as in your favorite local grocery store, your favorite date night restaurant, your favorite dry cleaner and more. There are many ways to conduct this search. Pull out a map, cruise the Internet or better yet, get in your car and drive around your neighborhood, looking for interesting places to explore. Another fine idea: ask a local for a referral. This not only opens the door for conversation, it also nets a personal recommendation.
- If you want to have a friend, be a friend. Making relationships is one of the fastest ways to feel at home in a new place, and you don’t necessarily need to wait for your neighbors to make the first move. Start with a friendly wave or greeting. An introduction and an invitation to get together sometime for a cup of coffee are even better. And who says you can’t be the one to break the ice by bringing cookies to your new neighbors!
- Branch out, establish new roots. Another way to connect with people is to get involved in the greater community. Join a newcomers group, volunteer at your child’s school, strike up a conversation at the dog park or take a special-interest class through your city’s Parks and Recreation department. You’ll meet people with common interests and have fun while you’re at it.
- Be patient, you will adjust. Finally, realize that settling in to a new place is a process that takes time. Approaching that process with a little bit of patience and a large sense of adventure will help you — and your family members – find your new comfort zone, wherever you live.
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