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We recently moved to a new hometown for us, and have decided that we like it so much, we are going to stay here for a while – a long while.
While moving to a new town can seem daunting, I can promise that it’s not. In fact, it can be both fun, educational and most of all: liberating.
Being a Navy brat growing up, I got to travel around a bit. New schools, new friends, you know, all the stuff that goes with that. When I was a kid though, I never really embraced it like I do now. I love the feeling of moving somewhere new -not knowing anyone, and forging my path.
But I know, that not everyone has these same feelings. So I want to share the 5 things I do to make a new town MY town in a month or less of moving there.
The 5 things I do to make a new town feel like mine
1.Explore my new hometown without a map.
I do this within a couple of days. By simply driving around the area without a map, it gets me familiar with the area. I’m lucky in that I have a pretty good sense of direction, and I don’t need to pull out Google Maps very often. I’ve fund by doing this as soon as I possibly can, I feel like I have a better sense of where I am in the town.
2. Eat where the locals eat
I like to eat in the local spots – the ones that have been around forever, or the new startups run by a local person. This gives me a sense of how the people really are – friendly (or not). By doing this within the first week of landing somewhere, I can get a sense of how I’m going to like living there. Talking with folks, getting to know them helps to start new relationships and make a new town seem less lonely.
3. Tour the grocery stores my new hometown
Within the first 3 weeks of being somewhere new, I’ve explored at least 3 grocery stores. I’m looking for the best produce, best selection, and probably the most important to me: the best vibe. That might sound a little crazy, but if I walk into a store and the employees aren’t happy, it’s probably not a store that I want to shop in on the regular. And if the produce isn’t pretty and fresh: I’m definitely not shopping there. That’s a deal breaker for me. But by the third week, I generally have a sense as to where I’m going to do a lot of my everyday shopping.
4. Walking tour of the downtown area
This is one of my most favorite ways to get to know an area besides the first step I take. A walking tour of a downtown area tells me a lot about what the city is doing to keep that area alive (or not0. It also gives me sense of where I will conduct a lot of business. Small mom and pop stores, boutiques and cafes are again, where I like to hang out to really get to know people and build relationships. I’ve always made sure to do this within a month of moving.
5. Research hometown events
I love local events, farmers markets and local festivals. These are the things that really tie a community together, and I like to be aware of the particulars. For example, it’s the middle of summer now, and it’s HOT. Most of the festivals here are more in the fall and winter, same with farmers markets. Where I’m from, these types of things are all happening during the summer months. I get it of course, it’s much too hot to have these events now. But I’m sure looking forward to the fall when I can start enjoying more farm fresh goods and interact with the locals at fun monthly events.
There are so many ways to make a new hometown feel like yo’ve been there forever and these are the 5 most important steps that I’ve taken to acclimate myself somewhere new.
Now I want to hear from you! Tell me: have you ever moved somewhere new? What did you do to feel more comfortable?