You’ve Moved In, Now What? How to Explore Your New Town
You’ve moved into your new home, unpacked all your belongings, and settled in nicely. So what’s next? Exploring your neighborhood is a fun way to get to know your surroundings. Home isn’t just the house you live in; it’s the town surrounding you and the people who live in it. Find out all the exciting adventures your neighborhood has to offer with these tips.
Determine a Route
Whether you want to explore the area by foot, bike, or car, it’s a good idea to check out a map first. Visualize the area you consider to be your new neighborhood. Is it a few blocks, or more? Map out a route for exploration like a modern day pioneer. The route should take you around the area and loop back to your house. If you see anything on the map that seems interesting, mark it.
By Foot or By Wheel?
Once you’ve mapped the area, decide how you plan to explore. Navigating on foot is easier and gives you more time to really absorb what’s going on around you. Whichever you choose, be sure to watch the traffic patterns while you’re exploring. This will help you get around better in the future and know what times of day your neighborhood is congested. If you live in a big neighborhood, you might want to take a bus or other public transportation to get an idea of how the lines run.
Make Your Own Map of Cool Places
Consider making a neighborhood map of your own. Whether or not you use it in the future, creating your own map is a fantastic way to commit it to memory. As you walk around, mark important areas. For example:
- Major grocery stores, small markets, etc.
- Restaurants, bars, and pubs
- Hospitals and pharmacies
- Convenience stores
- Shops, theaters, and other entertainment
- Parks and outdoor areas
By making your own physical map, you’re creating a cognitive version of the area, as well. So the next time you need to pick up medication or a specific ingredient for an exotic dish, you’ll know where to find everything. Feel free to stop into the local businesses and introduce yourself along your journey.
Take Lots of Photos!
Take pictures while you’re out on the town! Snap photos of interesting architecture, unique shops, and anything else that catches your eye. Even if you’re not the best behind the camera, it’s still a fun way to remember the day. You can even add photos of the locations you shot to your home-made map. Take pictures of locals (if they don’t mind). This will help you get a sense of the overall vibe of your neighborhood.
Check Out Local Events
If you live in a city, there’s most likely a weekly publication outlining events and entertainment in the area. These magazines are usually free and can be found in cafes, convenience stores, and other shops. Pick one up and see what events are happening this week. Going to local events is an excellent way to meet new people and get to know other parts of your town. You can also check the city’s website. Many will have a calendar of events right on the home page. Make a note of anything that sounds fun, and try to find a buddy to bring along with you.
Get to Know Your Neighbor
If you haven’t introduced yourself to your neighbors yet, you should! If you’re on the shy side, this might seem a bit intimidating. If you’re not comfortable knocking on their door and saying hello, you can introduce yourself slowly. Try waving hello when you see someone outside getting the mail or coming home from work. Say hi while walking by on a morning stroll. Or try to catch one of your neighbors outside on a weekend afternoon; they’ll be relaxed and should have plenty of time to chat.
Eventually, you might want to throw a neighborhood party and invite your new friends. Drop some good old-fashioned invitations in their mailboxes, and make sure to personalize each one. If you reach out and get to know your neighbors, you’ll probably end up making some good friends.
Most Importantly, Stay Safe
Above all, stay safe when exploring your neighborhood and introducing yourself to new people. Don’t explore at night until you’re comfortable with your surroundings. If you’re walking alone, don’t listen to music and drown out noises around you; you need to stay sharp and aware. Always have an idea of what’s going on around you and be smart. You may want to bring along a friend or a pet for extra safety. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears pricked, and you’ll be fine.
Congratulations on your move and becoming an adventurous explorer of your new hometown. By now, you’ve likely found some cool hangout places and an interesting shop or two. You’ve also probably made some new friends. Enjoy your new town, and keep exploring!