5 ways to get to know your new neighborhood

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Moving is a long and complicated process. It doesn’t end when you NYC movers leave on moving day either. Instead, it can stretch for weeks and even months after that. And that’s because settling into your new home and life is the natural final step of relocation. But this period can be difficult, especially if you don’t know anyone in your new hometown. Post-relocation depression is very real and could make your transition harder. And the fact that you still don’t know your way around the place doesn’t help. So what are some good ways to get to know your new neighborhood and start settling in?

A dog walking across the street.
Getting to know a place makes it feel more like home.

The 5 best ways to get to know your neighborhood

Getting to know your neighborhood anew is something you’ll definitely need to do, even if you’re only moving locally. Especially in big cities, no two neighborhoods are exactly alike. You’ll need to find out where all the best coffee shops are, where to get the cheapest groceries, if you can walk your dog off-leash in the nearby park, which of your neighbors to ask to borrow some flour when you’ve run out, how to get to your job fastest, whether it’s safe to walk down that dark alley near your building at night, and so much more. In order to do this, you’ll need to meet both your neighborhood and the people who live in it.

Get to know your neighborhood by meeting your neighbors

Nobody can help you truly know and understand the local area better than the people who live there. They already know all the best spots and can show you all the hidden gems you wouldn’t be able to find on your own. But getting to know your neighbors isn’t just about figuring out your new hometown. There’s something much bigger at stake: making connections and building friendships. Most of your neighbors will have been where you are now, new to the place and struggling to feel at home. So they can be your emotional support too. This can be invaluable when you’ve just moved in, even more so than any practical information they may share.

If you’ve thrown a going away party, then you already have some experience with such events. A housewarming party might be in order on this side of the move. It’s a great way to meet your neighbors in a casual setting and without awkward expectations. Just grab some snacks and drinks and get the word out. Before you know it, you’ll be making friends with your new neighbors and learning about the neighborhood through them!

Spend the week acting like a tourist

Did you know that more than 80% of Athenians have never seen Greece’s biggest tourist attraction, the Acropolis? This is probably because we tend to not consider the things we see every day as remarkable. When you walk by it every day on your way to work, even a world miracle becomes ordinary. But as someone who just moved in, you have the advantage of not knowing the neighborhood at all. Everything is new to you and while that certainly has downsides, it also presents you with an opportunity to experience the area in a unique way.

Visiting the landmarks like the Statue of Liberty is one of the ways to get to know your new neighborhood.
Sometimes being a tourist in your own back yard is not a bad thing.

So take a week to act like a tourist in your own new hometown! This is especially interesting when you’re moving internationally because you are, in a way, a tourist then until you sort everything out. So check tourist forums and websites online, look up the most iconic and quintessential places to visit or things to do and achieve as much as you can in a week. It’ll be fun, get you out of the house and introduce you to the city all at once!

Walk everywhere you can and find all the favorite local spots

Not all cities or neighborhoods are perfectly suited to walking. But you can still walk to a lot of places in most cases. Use that to your advantage and get some workout time in while also familiarizing yourself with the new neighborhood! Leave the car in the garage and skip public transport; walk to work instead. That way you’ll get to experience everything about your new neighborhood: the sounds and the smells and the sights and even the people. It’s a great way to pick up the vibe of the neighborhood and discover all the little things you miss when observing through a vehicle window.

Join an interest group and get involved in the community

If you truly want to get to know the community and the place you now belong you, you need to put yourself out there a bit. A good way to do this is to join an interest group. Everyone has a hobby. Whether you like to draw and paint or read and write or you’re into cosplay, there are probably other people in the area with similar interests. So check online to see if they have some sort of community or group that you could join. If that doesn’t work, you can always get involved with the community. Events are happening all the time in New York, so you should have plenty of opportunities for volunteering, participating or even working somewhere.

Open notebook with paints around it.
Find someone to share your hobbies with.

Vary the map of your routine to get to know your neighborhood better

It’s good to have a routine after you move. It helps you regain a sense of normalcy and get used to your new life faster. But just because you’re usually doing the same things at the same time doesn’t mean you always have to do them the same way! So switch up the way you go to work: take a walk on Monday, use public transport on Tuesday, drive on Wednesday and go take a completely different route when you start repeating the means. Try out different gyms if you’re into that or shop at different places. Just vary the places you see and visit so as to cover as much ground as possible! That way, you’ll get to know all the different parts of a neighborhood faster.

How does getting to know your neighborhood help?

But why is it so important to know the different ways to get to know your new neighborhood? Well, the faster you learn the area you live in and meet the people you share it with, the faster it’ll feel like home. Because home is where we’re comfortable and we’re never comfortable in unfamiliar places, familiarizing yourself with your new neighborhood makes it feel more like home. And that will definitely ease your transition after the relocation!