Life of a Transplant: A Newbie's Guide to Navigating Harrisburg - A Community Blog

Savannah Marie searches for the best restaurants, wildlife and attractions that Harrisburg has to offer.

Five Tips for Settling in the City of Your Dreams

Written by Savannah Marie, Community Blogger | Oct 16, 2014 8:44 AM

Nothing compares to the excitement you feel when moving to a new city, especially if it’s the one you’ve always dreamed of living in. However, wherever you move to – even if it’s your ideal location – there is an inevitable adjustment period you will have to face before you make the city your own. If you’re not sure quite how to fully settle in, here are some tips to help you do just that.


Join Organized Meet Ups

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If you’re new in town, making friends can be hard, especially if you want you friend circle to extend outside of your neighbors and co-workers. Luckily, it’s not impossible to meet new people with similar interests. Thanks to the internet, there are websites which help organize meet-up events by location and interests. This will help you to make new friends and settle into your new city quicker.


Check Out Blogs and Websites About Your New City

The best way to learn about the coolest spots in your new city, from restaurants to running paths, is by asking a local. However, if you’re new in town and haven’t made too many friends yet, discovering the hidden gems of your new home city can be a different endeavor. To help make this task easier, do some research online.


Photo by Jayme Frye

When searching for info about your new city on the internet, try to steer away from the larger more commercialized sites, as well as travel websites, too. These types of websites will no-doubt inform you of all of the tourist attractions in your city, which you’ve probably already been to. Instead, try to find a blog site or independent newspaper to give you the skinny. Most likely, these publications will help you discover the more unique spots in your new city, making you feel like a local in no time.


Ask Your Co-Workers and Neighbors for Recommendations

One of the hardest things about moving to a new city – even if you couldn’t be more excited about it – is all of the gritty details. If your previous domicile is a few hours or a few states away, you’re likely going to have to re-register your car, find new physicians and a new trustworthy auto mechanic.

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Photo by Jacob Haas

However, figuring out the best doctors’ offices, auto body shops and good schools in town by yourself can feel nearly impossible. Having all of these services is critical so finding the right places sooner rather than later is key. To make sure you pick the best places to go, reach out to your new co-workers and neighbors for advice. They will most likely they will have helpful suggestions.


Do Community Things You Enjoy

One of the best ways to feel like you belong in a new city is to start doing local things you enjoy. If you love to stay active, take classes at a local gym or studio. If you love music, check out a concert by a local band. If your city is close the countryside, join a community CSA to eat local, fresh food.


Photo by Teresa Boardman

Trying to be a part of activities within your community that you actually enjoy will help you feel more connected to your city and help you find your place. Also, by participating in classes and community events, you will likely meet people with similar interests and make new friends.


Don’t Be Afraid to Get Lost



One of the best ways to find new places in your city is to get a little lost. Go to a new (safe) part of the city and just explore with no agenda. Take your time browsing shops, restaurant menus, movie theatres and community parks. This will help you feel more comfortable with your surroundings and discover new favorite spots.

Finding your place in a new city can be tough, even if it is the locale of your dreams. Between finding people, places and activities you enjoy, and good local doctor, moving in can feel a little overwhelming. However, by actively looking for new friends and community activities, and even getting purposefully lost, you could start settling in as soon as you get the keys to your new place. 


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