New Home, New Community: How to Fit In

Step Two: Buy a map

"One of the tricks I learned to help myself not feel strange and disoriented in a new area was to immediately buy a good city map. I then sat down with a phone book to find out the locations of my favorite national stores and restaurants. Some of my co-workers who had lived there longer than myself had more trouble getting around town than I did!" -- katrynr

Step Three: Walk about the town

"The way I got to know people in my new neighborhood is by walking everywhere. If I went downtown, I parked the car and just walked around town from store to store. I met so many wonderful people this way. I just walked up to them and said "Hi, I'm new in town and I was wondering where you would suggest I go to have a bite to eat." We then struck up a conversation, and 50 percent of time they went with me. It's worked well." -- sjme2

Step Four: Find a church or organization you believe in

"My husband and I attended services at several churches in our denomination after we moved. Within our first six months here we had dinners with four other couples and went camping with one of them. The people we met at church are still our closest friends here. Faith communities are one place where the old 'welcome to the neighborhood' spirit still exists." -- Karla

"One of the first things I did to meet new friends is find an organization for which I would like to volunteer. This not only helped me feel more a part of my new community, it made me feel good about my involvement. Doing this immediately put me in touch with a group of similar-minded friends." -- Amelia

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