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Maybe you relocated for work purposes, or perhaps the pandemic left you needing a change of scenery. Either way, you pulled up stakes and changed your address. Now, you need to fit into your new home. Here are five ways to become a local in your new city.
1. See the Sights
Did your relocation take you to a must-see tourist destination? If so, expect to answer questions about where to go, what to see and the best time to get there. Are you prepared with expert advice? The best way to arm yourself is visiting these locations yourself — after all, you want to experience what all the fuss is about, too.
If you’re based in the U.S., the summer months bustle with tourists as many families with children take advantage of the school year break. You might find many local destinations in your city too crowded for comfort. However, European ex-pats often find July and August the best time for visitors — it’s the perfect time to invite your friends and family from across the pond to stay with you and see the sights.
2. Attend Networking Events
Unless your move to a new city entailed your retirement, you probably want to get active in the local business community. Doing so is the perfect way to establish yourself as a local and a professional in your area of expertise.
How can you find such opportunities? Start with your friends and colleagues, including new ones you recently met if relocating for work. Another excellent resource is your university’s alumni relations center. Finally, you can find opportunities advertised on social media sites like LinkedIn and networking sites like Meetup and Eventbrite.
3. Join a Committee
Do you want to make a difference in your new hometown without seeming like a newbie pushing an unwanted agenda? Why not join one of your HOA’s or new city’s governing committees to make your voice heard while meeting the movers and shakers in your community?
For example, perhaps your new hometown is a designated international dark sky community. You could help out with auditing local businesses for compliance or arranging annual events like sky parties. Are you interested in what new projects get approved? Consider becoming a member of your local planning and zoning committee.
4. Get to Know Your Neighbors
One in a quarter of all millennials doesn’t know a single one of their neighbors by their first name. This isolation does more than make you feel lonely. It deprives you of needed support — people to watch your property when you travel or borrow a cup of sugar from while baking.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take too much effort to build friendships — you might find many people in your new city feel similarly isolated. You can start by baking a batch of cookies and delivering them to your neighbors with your contact information attached. Get in the habit of taking a daily walk, pausing to pass pleasant chit-chat with those you pass. It might seem awkward at first, but you’ll soon build a circle of friends or at least acquaintances.
No matter where you go, you’ll find worthy causes in need of volunteers. Soup kitchens need people to ladle out meals on more than just the holidays, and animal shelters nearly always could use more dog walkers.
You can meet new friends and become a cherished local in your new city by volunteering. You can begin your search online or contact your city offices for information on causes that could use your help.
Become a Local in a New City
You want to fit into your hometown regardless of your reasons for relocating. Become a local in a new city with these five tips.
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