If you have ever moved to a new town, you know it can be pretty daunting. Prior to moving take time with a good cup of something warm to think about what you enjoy doing. Consult your new chamber of commerce’s website then do your research. Most towns are eager to have new residents and want to do everything they can to make you feel welcome. And did you know that some towns even have coupon books for various services for newcomers? In the meantime make plans to explore these suggestions.
- Newcomer’s Clubs
One of the best ways to get acquainted is through Newcomers’ Clubs. This is a wonderful way to meet people who have recently moved to town and are probably in the same situation as you. They also have activities for families and couples. We were involved with a dinner group in our club and had loads of fun trying different foods from various countries as our group rotated through people’s homes each month. I even had the honor of asking Julia Child a question about a recipe I was preparing for our group…that was exciting!
- Churches and Synagogues
Get connected with a church or synagogue and find the programs in which you would enjoy participating. Often times these programs team up with other community service groups, including local charities that are dear to your heart. Enjoying singing and through my church choir, a couple of members invited me to sing with local chorales which, in turn, provided opportunities to sing under the direction of some incredible directors and perform some of the most beautiful and challenging works of music. And I met people our family has remained friends with for a long time.
- Children’s Connections
If you have school age children, you will of course need to enroll them in school and involve them in activities which will lead you to meeting others in the community. In the summer find out the activities for families…swim lessons, tennis lessons, reading programs, and much more. Remember as well that the PTO/PTA organizations always need volunteer help; or how about being a volunteer parent a couple of days a month at your child’s school. Working with others at your children’s school is another great way to meet people and develop friendships at the same time.
Meet your neighbors. Sometimes this is easier to say than do, but you could always be the one to bake and take a little loaf of “Hi, I’m your new neighbor bread.” You really don’t have to wait for someone to bring it to you! If you do have a neighborhood where meeting your neighbors happens by just taking out the garbage or retrieving your mail, why not schedule a jewelry or cookware party? Everyone will want to meet the new kid on the block and it is a casual opportunity to welcome them to your home.
- Exercise and Make New Friends
And if you, like most of us, need to exercise…either join a gym, YMCA, or take regular walks in your neighborhood. Not only are you exercising your body, but you may just meet a workout or speed-walking buddy! Of course afterwards, you can always take a quick trip to try that special tea…hot or cold…you’ve wanted to try in that little shop you discovered.
These are but a few ideas just to start with, and they may not be ones that appeal to you. But if you are establishing a new residence with the idea this is your new home, any one of them might be the thing to put you in touch with a great friend. In turn, your new friend can show you where all the “secret” treasures are in your new town. Congratulations on your fresh opportunity!
Caleb Grant often moves for business related reasons. He understands the difficulty of moving his whole family and pets to a new town and recently wrote some relocation and moving tips.