Moving to a new neighborhood can feel as different as moving across the country. While it's true that you aren't moving across an ocean, your new neighborhood and city have their own unique culture, climate and social groups. A simple trip to the grocery store can feel like a foreign experience if you are not familiar with the stores or local area.
Believe it or not, there are steps you can take to make this transition easier.
Of course, there's never a guarantee that you'll make friends right away. But if you take some time to understand your new neighborhood, it can definitely help you feel more comfortable. Here are some tips to get you started:
Use online resources like City-Data or WikiTravel to learn about the area, its history and culture. If possible, visit your new neighborhood before you move there to get a feel for the place.
Check for any information online about what types of neighborhoods are found in the area. Look for clubs, churches and other social groups to join so you can meet people with similar interests.
Take a friend or family member along on the trip if it makes you feel more comfortable. That way, you have someone else who knows your usual tastes and can help you choose the best neighborhood.
When was the last time you contacted your old friends or family? Reconnect with people who may now live in your new location. Give them a call and ask if they know much about the neighborhood.
Do you chat with anyone online? Consider joining a community forum and sharing information about your new neighborhood.
You can enhance the experience of moving to a new area by shopping at local stores and markets instead of national chains. Get to know your local merchants by asking them questions and giving suggestions on how they can improve their service.
If you belong to a church, check the website for information about other churches in your area. You can usually find a list of nearby houses of worship along with short descriptions. Some websites even let you fill out a form and request more information from a priest or pastor.
Not only will it help you integrate into your new neighborhood, but you might find a church that fits your needs better than the one you attended before.
Starting or joining a community group is an excellent way to meet people in your area who share similar interests. Look for organizations like Girls Scouts, Men's Club, Women's League, Little League and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
You can also consider contacting local schools, daycare centers and senior care facilities to find out if they need help or would appreciate volunteers.
If you work nearby, find out if your company offers "ride-along" or other perks that let you tour the area with someone who lives there. It will give you a sense of what to expect and help you learn where some of your favorite places are located.
Many local realtors would be happy to give you an in-depth tour of your new neighborhood. Not only will you get expert advice about the area, but you might even find an awesome deal on a house or apartment while you are there!
Realtors are a wealth of knowledge and generally know all the ins and outs of their city's neighborhoods. From the best restaurants in the area to what traffic and noise are like, a real estate agent may just be your best asset when it comes to moving neighborhoods.
Be patient with yourself when it comes to taking time to adjust to your move. While you may think moving to a neighborhood or city is no big deal, it can feel foreign and strange all the same. It is important to give yourself some grace and understand that it is going to take time before you feel completely at home - and that is ok!
It is important to remember that adjusting to a new neighborhood can take time. Be patient with yourself and give yourself the opportunity to explore your new surroundings. Talk to people in your area, visit local businesses and get involved in community groups to make the most of your new home.
In time, it will be hard to think you ever felt out of place in your new area, and you'll be enjoying all the perks of your new city in no time!