So far you’ve wrestled a sticky lock to get in your rental, figured out the status of the water pressure and set up your cleverly-named wifi. Your time in this new town is limited, so incorporating yourself into your new environment early is pivotal to your success. From the local taqueria to your new favorite workout class, these 6 tactics can turn a temporary dwelling into your new homestead in no time.
1. Find your T spot
Or L, subway, train or bus stop closest to you. Zero chances you are going to be late on your first day, so understanding the transportation is priority numero uno. Download the metropolitan transit app for the up-to-date schedule, to reload passes and to route your trip. No good public transportation option? Google map your work to see how long it will take to get there and take into consideration the traffic on the 405. Extra points if you discover a bagel shop on your way because everyone likes the bagel guy/gal. No local transit apps or local transit period? Figure out if Uber or Lyft exists where you are and how to access it quickly.
2. Find a sandwich
Regional and local staples are always the best place to start for the local flavor. Tacos in Austin, burnt ends in Kansas City, fried shrimp in NOLA, chili rellenos in Albuquerque; whatever it may be. Learn what your new city is known for and order it everywhere! Services like Yelp, Facebook places, and Foursquare’s “Best Nearby” feature are great for finding local favorites!
●Yelp for a second opinion
●Grubhub for delivery when you want to stay in
●Open Table to make a reservation once you find a friend to go with
●Google to find the grocery store
3. Find a friend
There has to be someone in one of your six degree circles who is from, has lived or is living in this new city. Reach out to them and see what they say is the bee’s knees. Next, hold the door open for your new neighbor, and in return maybe they can spill some classified information like where locals really go for Philly Cheesesteaks or where they get their hair cut.
Find a close gym and sign up for a group class. Research shows that group activities help form a better bond. Not into Zumba after a day on your feet? Look into pottery, painting or find a neighborhood book club!
Download These Apps:
Meetup to find people that enjoy the same hobbies as you
Nextdoor (a neighborhood social network) to socialize with your neighbors
GymSurfing to buy gym passes on the go
ReadRooster to get your reading fix for the day in just 15 minutes
4. Find something to do
Your first week you can get away with being the tourist, because at the beginning that’s what you are! Visit the local tourism bureau for maps and in-person information, troll the main tourism city website for info and special pricing at tourist sites, and even stumble into the Marriott and talk to the front desk and concierge to see what they say you should be doing.
Download This App:
Field Trip is a google app that logs everything around you and notifies you when you’re close to something worthwhile: artisan soap shop, craft whiskey bar, organic farmer’s market, birthplace of a semi-famous dead person and shovel museum. Something new around every corner!
5. Find a shot
On your way to check your mail for your first bills, keep walking and go outside. Look left, look right and start walking. Take some neighborhood laps until you find a coffee shop that seems on par to serve an espresso, and if you’re lucky a cronut. Keep walking until you find a bar where you can afford a drink and nice enough where you will feel comfortable surrounded by the patrons. Be proud that on your walk back that you pounded the pavement and learned the sights and smells of your new neighborhood. Located a veggie stand for your new Vitamix? Score.
Download This App:
Both let you know just how walkable a city is with a simple scoring algorithm. Need to bike? Try Bike Path Maps
6. Find your People
Your new city can be a playground. Get out, use your resources, talk to locals and explore. The quicker you immerse yourself in local flair, the quicker you will feel comfortable in the new time zone. Find a forum to read and share what you learned to help out others in your same position. Settle into your new area and be mistaken for a local your second week. Use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram #hashtags to make it known what you’re interested, where (in the country) you are and don’t be shy!
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