Moving house and /or area can happen for many reasons:
- A job or career change for yourself or your partner
- Needing to downsize or upsize the property
- Moving in with a partner
- Leaving a partner
- Moving nearer to family
- Moving into a school’s catchment area
Once you have unpacked and settled physically into your new home you will want to explore the area if you don’t know it already.
Here are some suggestions to help you get out and about, putting roots into your new neighbourhood:
- Say hello to your new neighbours. You can always pop round with an excuse like wanting to know when the rubbish collection days are.
- Find where the nearest shops are and shop locally as often as you can. As well as supporting local businesses you will be able to chat to local staff and owners and find out more about the neighbourhood.
- Don’t leave home without your phone or a pen and paper. Look out for notice boards in shops with postcards and local advertisements for activities and groups in the area.
- Visit your nearest library and see what it has to offer in the way of evening classes and local projects.
- Spend some time online investigating local activities that appeal to you. Go to everything that interests you at least once and see if you like the atmosphere enough to join up.
- Visit your local church, synagogue or temple.
- Join your local gym.
- Go for coffee, breakfast or lunch in your nearest independent café, deli or coffee shop and tell staff that you have just moved into the area and would love some local recommendations.
Once the excitement of moving to a new area has died down it can be very lonely if you don’t know anyone nearby. If you find the above suggestions daunting then I recommend the best way to approach someone new is by smiling, saying hello or excuse me and then asking them a question. This gives you a genuine reason for reaching out to a total stranger and also taps into their good will. Most people don’t mind answering a question and being helpful, and if they don’t seem keen to answer then don’t take it personally, they may just be too busy or have their own worries on their mind.
Give it time and be patient. New friendships take time and effort to grow. In a year’s time you will feel much more settled in your new life.
As Susan Jeffers said “Feel the fear and do it anyway”. Go for it, and good luck!