Relocating to a new place can be exciting, exhilarating, and a little scary. One of the best ways to start feeling at home in a new town is to get involved as soon as you can. Where do you start? Here are some suggestions:
One of the first steps you should take is to study a map of your neighborhood, town, and surrounding area. Relying on GPS alone to get you places doesn’t give you the big picture you need. You’ll feel more comfortable and familiar with your new town if you have your bearings and know at least the general direction of where things are.
The best place to start getting involved is in your neighborhood. If there’s a homeowners association, a garden club, historical society, or other type of group, find out when meetings are and start attending. Volunteer to serve on boards or committees. Join neighborhood Facebook groups and email lists. Introduce yourself to your new neighbors and find out how they stay connected in the community.
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Attend local events such as concerts, art shows, parades, and sporting events. Many towns and municipalities have calendars you can access that list the year’s upcoming events to help with planning.
Donate your time and energy to help charities that interest you, volunteer at your local library or hospital, work at a food bank, or serve as a poll worker during elections. You’ll meet people and learn about your new town while helping your community at the same time.
Find local clubs that interest you. If you take part in hobbies like running, cycling, sewing, tennis, fishing, crafting, or playing bridge, finding others who enjoy the same activities can be enjoyable and grounding. Ask local sporting goods stores, craft stores, and specialty shops for club information, or search local social media groups or telephone listings to find club information.
If you have experience playing a sport, volunteer to coach local little league or amateur teams. In addition to getting to know people in your new community, you’ll enjoy some fresh air and exercise.
Open your home to neighborhood groups, book club meetings, political campaigns, and other gatherings. You’ll meet new people and learn about issues that affect your area.
Your college, university, fraternity, or sorority may have an alumnae chapter in your area. Contact your group’s alumnae coordinator to find out or to ask how you can go about starting one.
Your real estate professional is likely very familiar and knowledgeable about your new town, so don’t hesitate to ask for advice about getting involved. They can likely point you in the right direction, and may even be able to make some important connections for you.