Just Moved? Get Familiar with Your New Community06/16/2017 Enjoy Being a Tourist While You’re Setting Up Your New HomeAwright! Your household move is completed. You’re in your new home and just getting into unpacking and putting everything away. That’s a lot of work, for sure. But there is yet another thing you should be doing. And the sooner you do it, the more contented you’ll be. You should be getting acquanted with your new city.Certainly you investigated where you’d be going when you first set your mind or first discovered you had to move. Now that you’re here, though, it’s time to really get comfortable with your surroundings …Walk around and explore your new neighborhood – get to know the “lay of the land,” meet and greet the neighbors, seek out the closest parks and recreation areas, determine the fastest route to your children’s’ schools (either by foot or by car)Find the closest businesses to cater to your needs – supermarkets, shopping malls, gas stations, movie theaters coffee shops, fast food places, restaurants, libraries, bookstores, and the likeVisit the nearest “Welcome Center” and pick up brochures pointing out local attractions that resonate with you – art museums, historical museums (especially those that deal with local history), sports arenas, bike and walking trails, convention centers, and theaters or auditoriums that offer stage presentations, for exampleThen again, one of the fastest and easiest (if less vivid and personal) ways to research your new community isn’t by foot or by car – it’s by way of the Internet. Google, Google Maps, Yelp, and Citysearch are among today’s choice online resources for ferreting out local attractions. They’ll lead you to^pinpoint}78} all the most popular gathering places your community has to offer. Don’t just take the word of online reviews, though. Visit the recommended places and decide for yourself whether you like them or not.Not really comfortable with the Internet or phone apps? That’s no problem, just stay with actual physical exploration. That’s frequently the best way to get familiar with a place, anyhow. Heading out and speaking with people in person generally leaves a much stronger impression than does picking information off a computer or phone screen. Still, the Internet can at least show you what’s available.Here’s another thought. If you truly want to get acquainted with people in your new hometown, look for local clubs and organizations that accord with your interests, your hobbies, or your worldview and join them. You might also contemplate involving yourself in some kind of local community service, making yourself useful to the school system, daycare centers, nursing homes, homeless shelters, rescue missions, government agencies, or whatever might best suit your talents. Funny thing about community service (and you intuitively know it’s true!): what you give to the community has a way “giving back” to you. And one day soon you’ll start feeling that your new hometown is home indeed and you’re a tourist there no more.