Congratulations! You’ve survived the process of leaving one home and finding another and the onus of packing everything up and then unpacking the same boxes. Your child is enrolled in a new school; you’ve found a new bank and a new doctor; you’ve investigated trash pick-up times, licensing requirements, and registering your car; and your mail is being forwarded on a regular basis…but now that things have calmed down and your somewhat settled in your Jersey Shore home, you may feel a bit lonely in an unfamiliar place.
The following tips are designed to help you become part of your new community and re-create the sense of belonging you had in your previous location.
- Go online to learn about the new area and what it has to offer. Look at the city or chamber of commerce website. Research religious facilities, cultural opportunities, parks and outdoor activities, and so much more!
- Acquire a regional map and drive around. Explore shortcuts and pinpoint the location of shopping malls, medical services, libraries, the post office, city offices, etc.
- Talk to neighbors. Ask advice about home maintenance companies, babysitters, doctors, or the civic league or homeowners’ organization associated with your Jersey Shore home.
- Take a walking tour of your neighborhood. Introduce yourself to and initiate conversations with house occupants who are outside. Compliment their yard or ask directions, for starters.
- Attend garage/yard sales in the vicinity of your home. Shoppers at these events are generally friendly and gregarious, so talk to them.
- Read the local newspaper to discover places of interest and happenings in the area. Look for clubs of group meetings that focus on your interests–art, gardening, books, sports, crafts, e.g.
- Seek out neighborhood coffee shops and restaurants and get acquainted with the “regulars.”
- Join a service club such as the Lions or Kiwanis or get involved with political groups.
- Join a recreation center or gym. Attend classes there or work out with a group that you know will share your interests.
- Volunteer. Check with a church or synagogue, a hospital, library, or school near you. Volunteering is a terrific way to meet people and to make you feel an integral part of the community.
- Give a house warming party and invite all your neighbors. Such an occasion is a good impetus to finishing unpacking and finalizing the decorating of your new Jersey Shore home and a wonderful way to make friends.
Before long you will become familiar with your new environment and be comfortable there. Best of all, you’ll “belong” once again!