Just Moved? Get Familiar with Your New Community06/16/2017 Enjoy Being a Tourist While You’re Getting Settled in Your New HomeYay! Your household move is over. You’re in your new home and just getting started on unpacking and putting your stuff away. That’s a lot of work, for sure. But there is one more thing you should be doing. And the sooner you do it, the cheerier you’ll be. You should be getting acquanted with your new community.No doubt you researched where you’d be going when you first set your mind or first learned you had to move. Now that you’re here, though, it’s time to really get comfortable with your surroundings …Take a walk and explore your new neighborhood – get to know the “lay of the land,” say “Hi!” to the neighbors, discover 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 satisfy your needs – supermarkets, shopping malls, gas stations, movie theaters coffee shops, fast food places, restaurants, libraries, bookstores, and so forthVisit the closest “Welcome Center” and pick up brochures covering local attractions that suit your fancy – art museums, historical museums (certainly those that showcase local history), sports arenas, bike and walking trails, convention centers, and theaters or auditoriums devoted primarily to stage presentations, for instanceOf course, one of the speediest and easiest (if less authentic and personal) ways to explore your new community isn’t by foot or by car – it’s by way of the Internet. Google, Google Maps, Yelp, and Citysearch are some of today’s preferred online resources for ferreting out local attractions. They’ll point 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. Go to the recommended places and decide for yourself whether you like them or not.Not really adept with the Internet or phone apps? That’s all right, just continue with actual physical exploration. That’s usually the best way to get familiar with a place, anyhow. Heading out and talking with people in person generally leaves a more powerful impression than does picking information off a computer or phone screen. Still, the Internet can at least give you a preview of what’s what.Here’s another thought. If you truly want to get acquainted with people in your new hometown, look for local clubs and organizations that reflect your interests, your hobbies, or your worldview and join them. You might also consider involving yourself in one or another local community service, making yourself useful to the school system, daycare centers, nursing homes, homeless shelters, rescue missions, government agencies, or whatever might best engage your talents. Funny thing about community service (and you instinctively 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.