How to Settle In to Your New City

Photo by Alexas Fotos via Pixabay

Moving to a new city is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. Getting the lay of the land, especially if you don’t have contacts in the city, is intimidating. From figuring out your transportation options to learning where the most affordable grocery store is, you have many things to tackle to get comfortable in your new space. Here are some tips that may make the transition just a little easier.

1. Join a Group or Organization

Do you have a favorite hobby? Is there a charitable cause you’re passionate about? Find the local group, and join. If you don’t have a favorite hobby or charity, find out about groups or clubs in your city that sound interesting, and join. You’ll be able to connect with people who have similar interests, and making local contacts will help you start learning your city.

2. Say “Yes”

When an opportunity presents itself, say, “yes.” Whether it’s coffee with a new acquaintance or a volunteer opportunity through the group you joined, the more times you can get out into the community and explore its offerings, the more connected you will feel. You only have to say, “yes,” the first time you’re invited, but be willing to step out and experience life in the community.

3. Walk the Streets

While public transportation or your own vehicle are convenient ways to get around the city, they aren’t always the best way to learn its layout. Grab a map, or your GPS on your phone, and start walking. Of course, keep safety and walkability in mind, but if you can, take a walk for your next errand. This will give you the best possible feel for the layout and vibe of the city, and also a more realistic idea of how far away various features are. It will also give you more opportunities to meet the people around you.

4. Find “Your” Spot

Find a place where you can go to hang out when your home or apartment starts to feel confining. This may be a coffee shop, library, or local restaurant, depending on your tastes. When you need to get out, go to your spot. Soon you will become a “regular,” people will start looking for you, and you just might make some friends!

Most importantly, give yourself time. It takes time to get comfortable in a new city, and that’s OK. If you use these tips, you will make some friends, and soon be able to enjoy life in your new community.

Ways to Get Involved in the Community in Your New Neighborhood

It’s easy to feel alienated when you move to a new city or town in today’s world. Traditionally, being friendly with neighbors was much more valued in decades past than it is now. And, with the help of things like Facebook and Skype, it’s easier to stay in touch with your old friends from your previous town than it is to make new ones in your new town. 

There is, however, much to be said about becoming involved in your local community. You’ll meet new people, discover new places to explore, and can make new friends in the process.

So, how can you go about involving yourself in your new town? Read on for our advice.

Say “hi” to the neighbors

Meeting the neighbors can be beneficial in a number of ways. They’ll be able to give you the lowdown on your neighborhood, including any issues you might want to be made aware of.

They’ll also be able to tell you if they notice anything strange or concerning around your house when you’re at work. And, if you go away on vacation, a good neighbor might volunteer to take in your mail for you or water your plants.

Find local events

There are a number of ways to find out what’s happening in your new town and get involved with them. Some places we recommend that you check frequently are:

  • Local newspapers and magazines

  • Library and town hall bulletin boards

  • Facebook groups for your town

  • Craigslist community boards

  • Meetup.com groups

You could also check out some local businesses, including cafes and restaurants, to introduce yourself to some of the people who likely live and work in your town.

Learn a new skill

One of the best ways to become involved in your new community is to find out what classes are offered nearby and to join one that you’re interested in. If fitness and wellness are one of your priorities you could consider joining a yoga or fitness class.

If you’re more into crafting, see what classes are available at the local library. And, while you’re there, ask the librarians for recommendations for local places to visit, whether it be museums or specialty stores.

Volunteer your time or skills

If you’d like to give back to your community a great way to do so is to volunteer for a local cause. Many cities and towns have neighborhood or park cleanups. Others have food pantries and assistance for the elderly.

If you have a skill that you think could be useful, such as carpentry or graphic design, find out if any local groups could use your skill.

Go to town meetings

If you want to quickly learn some of the ongoing issues and conversations in your town the weekly or monthly town meetings are a great way to familiarize yourself. Most towns and cities post their meeting schedule online and even offer recordings of past meetings if you want to get a feel for what the meetings are like before attending.

Other places that meetings are held that could be of interest are the local library, churches or spiritual centers, and parks or the town common.