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How to Get Settled In Your New Neighbourhood

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How to Get Settled In Your New Neighbourhood

Moving to a new home is never an easy thing. It is even harder when the move includes relocating to a new city or neighbourhood. Logistical considerations — like figuring out the best way to get to work and or schools — are stressful and time-consuming, but only require a bit of trial-and-error.

Finding your sense of place within a community is however not as straightforward.

While it can feel intimidating and overwhelming, meeting people is the most direct route for making a new community feel like your home.

Here are five tips to remember, whether you are moving across town or “semigrating” across the country.

1. Introduce yourself - make the first move.

Sure, it can feel intimidating to approach a new next-door neighbor and introduce yourself, but they may be equally hesitant to disturb your family, particularly if you seem busy settling in. So take initiative and look for an opportunity when they do not look rushed or preoccupied. A simple wave or hello can open the door without being intrusive.

2. Create meeting chances by making yourself approachable.

Likewise, create chances for others to welcome you. Sit on the front porch or spend time in your front garden. Take leisurely walks. Or perhaps just avoid the usual mad dash to your car every morning and wearing a haggard expression upon returning from work.

The same rule applies when you are out and about in the community. Pick a bar seat over a corner table to enjoy a coffee or beer (there is something about quasi-communal seating that encourages conversation). Take the kids to a playground or park, and do not keep your face submerged in your smartphone. Make eye contact and, you know, smile and say hello.

3. When in Rome do as the Romans – become a local!

Do as the locals do and frequent a local restaurant, farmer’s market, or shop. Got a dog? Even better. Dog parks practically beg to help you and your pet make new friends. Soon enough, a local destination will be one of those places where at least a few people know your name.

4. Get involved in meaningful activities to you to meet like-minded people.

There’s no better way to meet like-minded people than by participating in activities that are meaningful to you. While it’s often easier to find sports leagues and extracurricular groups for school-age children than for adults, finding just the right fit may require some digging. Check with local schools and universities, sports organizations and — perhaps the greatest reference of all — neighbours and fellow parents.

Parents have additional outlets for meeting new folks, like volunteering at school activities, getting involved in carpools, or hosting playdates.

Donating your time to community organizations is another great way to get to know the neighbourhood and improve it, by cleaning up trash, helping other residents or clearing park trails, for example.

5. Use your existing network to find and make “community”.

Take advantage of organized programs that can help you meet others in your new community.

If you were active in a church or other place of worship, ask for a referral to a similar establishment. If a new home means a new job, many employers offer programs that connect newly-relocated workers with each other as well as savvy long-time residents. Some schools and universities also have local alumni “get togethers” from time to time. And don’t forget to mine your online social networks. Ask Facebook friends if they know anyone in your new town..

With a little time, you’ll find “community” is wherever you make it.

Source  -  Amy Howell Hirt

 

Author Amy Howell Hirt
Published 06 Aug 2014 / Views -
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