Perhaps one of the scariest things about moving is the fear of the unknown; what’s this new place going to be like?  Will my neighbors be nice or nosey and bothersome?  There’s really no way to know for sure what your new city holds for you, but there are simple ways to acclimate yourself and to help ease into your new surroundings.  Check out our top tips on starting in a new community.

Check It Out!

One of the best ways to get to know your new neighborhood is to take a walk.  Check out your immediate area to see what it has to offer.  By doing this you can start to familiarize yourself with the people and places around you.  If you have children, this is also a great way to perhaps find a park or the shortest route to their new school – kids need to feel secure and safe so let them get an idea of their new surroundings to help quell any fears that may be lurking.

If you have moved to a community where a city transit system is used, take a ride around the area to figure out its routes and timing.  This is particularly important if you depend on this type of system to get to and from work.  If you own your own vehicle, then pack up the family and tour around the town.  Find some fun spots to have a picnic, a nice cafe or places where the kids would like to explore.

how to get started in a new communityBe Prepared

Whether you move to a new state or a totally different country, be prepared for some culture shock.  Each community has its own little idiosyncrasies and ways of doing things, so be prepared to go with the ebb and flow of a new way of life.  It may take some time to get used to, but the more time you spend among the locals and immersed into the “culture” the easier it will become.  If your job or life takes you to a new country, then some pre-move research into the specific place may take some of the surprise out of it once you arrive.

Nice to Meet You!

Although the thoughts of knocking on your new neighbor’s door to introduce yourself may freak you out, you will have to eventually meet the folks around you; however, that doesn’t mean you have to jump in with both feet.  Take it slow by speaking to the cashiers at the local grocer, the people working at the cafe or even a transit driver.  If you see your neighbors out in their yard or walking a dog, be sure to make a point of introducing yourself – most likely they will be curious to know who has moved in and the type of person your are, as well.

If you have children, meeting the teachers and other parents at school or a sporting event is a great way to make new friends and to also get a broader “lay of the land.”  Ask their opinions on the best restaurants, parks or local entertainment.  Who knows?  You may just get a dinner or coffee invite from it.

Moving is going to be stressful and can be more than a bit scary.  Allow yourself and your family the time needed to be comfortable in the new surroundings.  By following these simple tips, you will be feeling like a “local” in no time at all.