The process of moving is easy thanks to our experienced help, but getting plugged into the new community will take some time. In this article, we offer some tips on how to make new friends and become accustomed to your new neighborhood and city. Sometimes, you’ll just have to step outside of your comfort zone to get the results you’re looking for, but it all starts with making a plan and sticking to it.
Pursue Your Hobby
While some hobbies like scrapbooking are solitary by nature, it’s not difficult to strike up a conversation with someone who enjoys the same things you do. You can usually find like-minded people in any area if you just look for them. If you play tennis, you can join a club. If you like doing needlepoint, join a sewing group. If you have a dog, take them for a walk in different parks throughout the week.
Now is also a great time to take up a new hobby. If you have always wanted to learn how to sew or build a website, use this opportunity to make it happen. It will help you meet people who live in your new hometown who can get you plugged in to other things.
Use Online Communities
If you’re new to a city, it might be useful to join a few online communities centered on your interests. For example, most cities have garden, buy and sell, homeschool, and a myriad of other communities online. These groups are a great way to learn more about the area, get referrals to the doctors you need, and make new friends.
Build a Support Network
You don’t have to go online to find a new group within your hometown. You can just use your personal interest to find the network you’re looking for. For example, you could look for a new church to get plugged into a new extended family. If you have kids, you can also find family-centered groups that schedule regular play dates. Don’t be shy about finding the right network. If you don’t click with one group, then you may need to keep looking until you find the right fit.
You don’t have to join a club or online forum to make new friends. You can do that in person, too. Just start exploring the new place you’ve moved to. You’ll probably find like-minded people doing what you love to do. Go for a walk in the park, take your kids to the playground, or browse the library calendar for social activities you might enjoy. The more you get out, the more likely you are to make friends.
Talk to Your Neighbors
Nowadays, even suburban families don’t always know their neighbors. But the people who live on the other side of the fence could be your greatest ally in your new hometown. Not only are they familiar with local schools and HOA rules, but they have probably also already figured out which roofing company is reputable and which lawn mowing service is most reliable. Therefore, you should invite them in for coffee or make an effort to chat regularly.
Attend Community Events
Every community hosts events designed to draw members of the town together. Even if you don’t normally like parades or county fairs, now is the time to get out there and be seen. Local events give you a chance to meet local people, learn about local stores and businesses, and give you a feel for the community. Bigger cities will have more events going on throughout the year, but in smaller towns every event is likely to draw a bigger crowd.
To find out what’s going on in your town, you can check out the local newspaper. It’s probably a good idea to get a paper for a while anyway to help you get plugged into local politics and goings-on. Additionally, the library and the city’s website will have any other information you’d like to find.
There is at least one other option for getting involved in your community without spending any money: volunteering. Many organizations are in need of volunteers. You’ll probably have a variety of causes to choose from, but naturally you can support more than one, too. Whether you volunteer at the Food Bank or animal shelter, you’ll get a chance to meet plenty of people who care about your new hometown and will welcome a new resident with open arms.