Just Moved? Get Familiar with Your New Hometown06/16/2017 Relish Being a Tourist While You’re Setting Up Your New HomeYay! Your household move is done. You’re in your new home and beginning to get things unpacked and put away where you want them. That’s a lot to tackle, for sure. But there is one other thing you should be doing. And the sooner you do it, the happier you’ll be. You should be getting to know your new locale.Undoubtedly you investigated where you’d be going when you first decided or first were informed you had to move. Now that you’re here, though, it’s time to really get comfortable with your surroundings …Go for a stroll and explore your new neighborhood – get to know the “lay of the land,” meet and greet the neighbors, seek out the nearest parks and recreation areas, figure out the fastest route to your children’s’ schools (either by foot or by car)Find the closest businesses to meet 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 get hold of brochures highlighting 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 that offer stage presentations, for exampleThen again, one of the speediest and easiest (if less direct and personal) ways to learn about your new community isn’t by foot or by car – it’s by way of the Internet. Google, Google Maps, Yelp, and Citysearch are among today’s most used 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. Visit the recommended places and make your own determination as to whether you like them or not.Not really adept with the Internet or phone apps? That’s no problem, just stay with actual physical exploration. That’s often the best way to get to know a place, anyhow. Heading out and speaking with people in person generally leaves a more lasting impression than does picking information off a computer or phone screen. Still, the Internet can at least give you a preview of what’s going on.Here’s another thought. If you really want to get acquainted with people in your new hometown, look for local clubs and organizations that coincide with your interests, your hobbies, or your worldview and join them. You might also consider involving yourself in this or that local community service, making yourself useful to the school system, daycare centers, nursing homes, homeless shelters, rescue missions, government agencies, or whatever might best suit your talents. Funny thing about community service (and you just know it’s true!): what you give to the community has a way “giving back” to you. And it’ll be no time at all before you start feeling that your new hometown is home indeed and you’re a tourist there no more.