Whether you’ve moved across the country, across the state or within town chances are good that you will not be familiar with your new neighborhood. Adjusting to a new job or a new situation is stressful enough, not to mention finding new doctors and dentists for the kids and new friends for you! Here are some tips on how to become familiar with your new neighborhood that are fun and exciting for the whole family.
- Geocaching: Exploration as a route to discovery. Whether you moved to a big city or a rural area, this fun activity is absolutely everywhere! It’s called geocaching and it is a fabulous way to become familiar with an area and find hidden treasures to boot! All you need to go geocaching successfully is a computer, and a GPS unit (global positioning service device). Sign up for a free account, and download coordinates to locations of hidden treasures. Pile the kids in the car, or put on your walking shoes, and you are ready to explore hidden parts of your neighborhood that you might never even know existed —even if you were locals! The idea is to have your GPS device assist you in leading you to the coordinates where the treasure is hidden, and you then seek for it. Once back home, you log your find. There is a plethora of information at Geocaching.com, including geocaching etiquette, what to expect, what to bring with you, etc. If you come from another state, bring some tokens specific to your origin state to replace in the treasure box for others to find.
- Library, newspaper, and co-workers. The most obvious place to find out what’s going on locally is to visit the nearest library, or ask your new neighbors or co-workers. Children’s interests will often dictate the first things you discover, like the hockey rink or playgrounds. Use Google maps to look at satellite images of your area and see what looks interesting.
- Meet Ups. There are a huge variety of meetups (meetup.com) available across the country. There are bound to be several that would interest you and your family. The fun thing about meetups is that you will automatically find people who share similar interests, making finding new friends that much easier.
Let your interests dictate what you do. The most important thing to remember is that a home move often means a fresh start. Let your interests dictate where you focus your energy, and don’t get bogged down in habits you had at home that you want to change. If you’ve always wanted to learn to ballroom dance, start taking lessons!
Don’t let the unpacked boxes be an excuse to procrastinate. Start by doing what you want, and slowly get to the everyday things. If you have followed our advice on how to label your packing boxes (see blog Time Saving Tips), you will easily be able to unpack the most important boxes first, and let the rest come later.
And most of all “Enjoy Your New Neighborhood”