Moving to a new neighborhood can be a little like dating a new person. There’s the get-to-know-you phase where everything seems foreign. That’s followed by the honeymoon phase where life is so exciting and you couldn’t imagine being happier. Hopefully, you’ll then make it to the in-it-for-the-long-haul phase, where you’re committed, even after the shiny newness has worn off. If you want to know the secrets of how to fall in love with your new neighborhood, read on.
Research the cool places
It doesn’t matter where you go, there is always something fun to discover in a new place. Before your arrival, do a little digging. Hit up websites like Yelp, and do some searching on Facebook and Instagram. Do you love Indian food? Find the nearest restaurant that serves Tikka Masala. Are you hoping to take a tango class? Look up dance studios in the area. Need a great place to get a little work done? Find out where the best local coffee shops are. By making a list of all the great places you can visit, you give yourself something to look forward to. It also gives you ideas when you’re not sure how to fill your down time in the beginning.
Go for a walk
While driving around your new neighborhood will give you a good feel for the lay of the land, walking will give you a different perspective. So lace up those walking shoes and head out the front door for a stroll around the neighborhood. Notice what the houses and gardens look like. Say hello to anyone walking by. Stop and chat with a new neighbor and introduce yourself. Ask your new neighbor what some of their favorite things are about the area. Pay attention to the small details, like how the afternoon light filters through the trees, or the sound of kids playing in a nearby yard. Take some deep breaths and start seeing your neighborhood with a different pair of eyes.
It’s easy to feel a little intimidated in a new place, especially if you don’t know anyone. The only cure for that is to get out and meet people. But how do you do it?
First, you could sign up for a class. Learn how to make macramé, sweat it out with some bikram yoga, or attend a seminar on a subject you find interesting. Be open to talking with the people you meet there. You never know – they could become friends.
Second, let your network know about your recent move. Ask if your friends know anyone in your new neighborhood. There’s nothing like a personal introduction from a mutual friend to get the ball rolling on a new relationship.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to play host. A house feels more like a home when friends and loved ones are in it. Throw yourself a housewarming party, and invite your new friends and neighbors.
Just like any long-term relationship, falling in love with a new neighborhood takes time and commitment. By giving yourself fun things to try and paying attention to all the little ways that your new place can delight you, you’ll soon find yourself crushing hard on your new neighborhood.