The moving truck pulls away and you look at the vast sea of boxes before you; you’ve done it. You’re here in your new abode, city, and life. Unpacking all those boxes aside, how does one go about acclimating to a new environment, especially when the city around continues to bustle on?
1) Try out public transportation. It’s important to learn how to use local transportation. In some cities, public transit is more effective for getting from Point A to Point B than driving. This can also be an opportunity to see more of the city itself to familiarize with your surroundings as well as engaging in conversation with other locals!
2) Walk around. On that same note, walking can be just as effective for getting to know your new environment. Visit different parks, landmarks, or monuments. You will not only begin to learn your way around, but you’ll know more about the place in which you reside. The more you’re able to see, the less lost you may feel and the quicker this new place will start to feel like home.
3) Be a tourist. When visitors come to a city, there are often certain spots that seem to be revisited over and over again. Maybe there’s something really unique or historical about it; either way, you could see a lot of interesting things this way! Look for local museums, art exhibits, bus tours, aquariums, or zoos to get started.
4) Join your city’s library. Not only will this give you access to books, but libraries often offer complimentary passes or discounts to local museums or zoos. You can also save money by borrowing movies from the library rather than subscribing to a streaming service or renting from a RedBox.
5) Get your volunteer on. Not only will you be providing your time to whatever organization you choose, but you’ll have the opportunity to meet other locals with values similar to your own. Look for volunteers wanted advertisements for soup kitchens, marathons, or church carnivals.
6) Attend local events. Whether you’re playing a lead role in the local theatre’s production, buying handmade mittens at a craft fair, or running in the city’s annual 5K, you have many opportunities throughout the year to have fun while seeing what the city has to offer. You never know when you’ll discover a new passion or make a new friend, so get out there and get involved!
7) Utilize city publications. Whether your city posts it’s events in the newspaper, a city magazine, or on Patch.com, keep yourself up to date so you know major goings on and any events you may want to be a part of.
8) Follow local bloggers. Sometimes the best lesser known information can come from those who are living in the same place as you. Google “[name of city] bloggers” to find some to start with. You’ll get first hand experiences on restaurants or events that can inspire you with new ideas of what to try next.
9) Checkout Meetup.com. This site allows you to enter your city as well as a distance you’re willing to travel and suggests various groups that meet in the area. These can include anything from bible studies and dog groups to rock climbers and movie watchers. You can also enter a keyword to narrow it down.
10) Eat alone! Whether at a restaurant or bar, you can chat it up with bartenders and strangers for fun conversation and to learn what in the area you should check out. You will be able to sample local eats as well as potentially make some new friends.
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