Just because you’ve moved halfway around the world and are now living in an unfamiliar area, with unfamiliar looking streets, in a house with an architectural style that is a million miles away from what you’re used to, doesn’t mean you have to hide inside and wait for the shock of capture to subside.
The easiest way to settle into your new neighbourhood is to seize the initiative and get out there. Here are our top 5 tips to make you feel like a local in no time.
Meet the neighbours.
Gone are the days of someone popping round with a basket of goodies to welcome you to the neighbourhood. People come and go so often that new neighbours can pass most people by. So take the bull by the horns and go out and meet them.
Of course if you’ve chosen to live in the middle of nowhere rather than on a busy street, that could be easier said than done, but the principles still apply, probably more so.
Ask them where they do their shopping, which is the nearest train station, where their favourite restaurant is, which roads are likely to get congested at what times. They are your untapped insider’s guide to the new neighbourhood. Hit them up for all their knowledge.
Go for a stroll.
You probably won’t have had much time to go exploring before you arrived, so take the opportunity now to discover where the nearest convenience store is (it’s never convenient to run out of loo paper), a coffee shop, a park to walk the dog or your new running route. Whatever it is that makes this place feel more like home and helps you settle in quickly, find it.
Go to the pub.
Where are you going to find the locals if not in the local pub? It doesn’t matter where you’ve moved to, if you’re a city dweller or a rural rabbit, what better excuse do you need to get yourself a pint than ‘I’m new to the area’. You’ll have friends in no time.
Stick with what you know.
Now is not the time to ditch your hobbies, they are more important than ever to ensure you keep a connection with your old life to prevent homesickness. Seek out the nearest sports clubs, find that running route, go surfing, biking, play chess, get your shed set up. Whatever it is that kept you entertained previously, get it going again here.
Hop in the car.
Walking around the area is great to get a feel for the place, but you aren’t likely to stick to just your square mile. If you’ve relocated to a new country you will want to explore, so get in the car and see what else is out there. Drive to the mountains, the mall, the beach. Go uptown, downtown, into town, out of town. Make a list of places that pique your curiosity and set a time to explore them further. You will want to know where to take visitors when they inevitably come and stay.