Kristen Meleedy, CBR's Blog
It’s easy to feel alienated when you move to a new city or town in today’s world. Traditionally, being friendly with neighbors was much more valued in decades past than it is now. And, with the help of things like Facebook and Skype, it’s easier to stay in touch with your old friends from your previous town than it is to make new ones in your new town.
There is, however, much to be said about becoming involved in your local community. You’ll meet new people, discover new places to explore, and can make new friends in the process.
So, how can you go about involving yourself in your new town? Read on for our advice.
Say “hi” to the neighbors
Meeting the neighbors can be beneficial in a number of ways. They’ll be able to give you the lowdown on your neighborhood, including any issues you might want to be made aware of.
They’ll also be able to tell you if they notice anything strange or concerning around your house when you’re at work. And, if you go away on vacation, a good neighbor might volunteer to take in your mail for you or water your plants.
Find local events
There are a number of ways to find out what’s happening in your new town and get involved with them. Some places we recommend that you check frequently are:
Local newspapers and magazines
Library and town hall bulletin boards
Facebook groups for your town
Craigslist community boards
You could also check out some local businesses, including cafes and restaurants, to introduce yourself to some of the people who likely live and work in your town.
Learn a new skill
One of the best ways to become involved in your new community is to find out what classes are offered nearby and to join one that you’re interested in. If fitness and wellness are one of your priorities you could consider joining a yoga or fitness class.
If you’re more into crafting, see what classes are available at the local library. And, while you’re there, ask the librarians for recommendations for local places to visit, whether it be museums or specialty stores.
Volunteer your time or skills
If you’d like to give back to your community a great way to do so is to volunteer for a local cause. Many cities and towns have neighborhood or park cleanups. Others have food pantries and assistance for the elderly.
If you have a skill that you think could be useful, such as carpentry or graphic design, find out if any local groups could use your skill.
Go to town meetings
If you want to quickly learn some of the ongoing issues and conversations in your town the weekly or monthly town meetings are a great way to familiarize yourself. Most towns and cities post their meeting schedule online and even offer recordings of past meetings if you want to get a feel for what the meetings are like before attending.
Other places that meetings are held that could be of interest are the local library, churches or spiritual centers, and parks or the town common.