“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the Tradewinds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”- Mark Twain
This quote hits home. Moving to a new country as an immigrant can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Every day is an adventure, and trust me, also a burst of thousands of emotions, but hold on tight; things are just going to be alright.
Firstly, Congratulations on moving to a new place.
Starting all over again?
The process is different for everyone. Networking and socializing can take a little longer than anticipated, but there’s always a beginning.
So here are a few things you can begin with:
- Get familiar with your neighborhood
The first and most important thing to get started would be to get comfortable with the place you reside. Knowing the basics and having a routine of the same grocery stores, pharmacies, and routes to your home – as simple as that would help you get familiar with the faces and give you a sense of belonging.
- Join Local Groups and Community services
After knowing a little about the neighborhood, enrolling in community services or local groups would help you meet new people and understand the culture better. These groups plan many events and activities, which are fun, feel-good, and have a lot of participation from the neighborhood.
- Find a Fitness Center or get a Gym Membership
A Gym is one of the most underrated places to find friends. significant gateways for socializing. Multiple centers offer Bootcamps or group exercise classes that can be a great way to add movement to your day and interact with others. Orange Theory, CrossFit, and Planet fitness are a few popular ones you can check out.
- Visit the local library
The public library is one of the most underutilized places. They have engaging activities such as reading parties, literature events, and volunteer programs. Most libraries have multiple interests that can be accessed through their websites, social media or in-person (Example- Friends of the library)
- Meeting your new neighbors
Socializing with neighbors alone would need a whole new blog to explain, but, in a few words, the first move would be kind gestures and exchange of pleasantries from a simple hello, have a wonderful day, to inviting them for coffee and introducing yourself would be a few ways to go about it.
- Learn and try out the public transportation routes
- Most cities and college towns have some form of public transportation available for affordable transportation. And many allow students to ride for free.
- Every public transit authority will have a detailed map, and many even have mobile applications to help one plan their day around public transport. Uber, Lyft, etc., and regular taxis are also available. However, they can be expensive and hard to come by, especially in smaller towns and rural areas. Be cautious and stay safe when taking public transport.
- Hobbies and Classes
- Western countries are a land of opportunities for a reason, and hobbies are pursued. Be it an art form, culinary skill, hiking, or music. People appreciate and encourage one another to have that creative outlet outside work. People are passionate about art and culture, and if you have even the slightest inclination toward it – check out some hobby classes near you.
- There are a lot of events organized by the local stores that are open to the public and are the best way to socialize.
- Social media groups
One of the many advantages of social media is that many local groups and pages help one interact and seek suggestions. Whether getting recommendations on fine-dining restaurants, knowing about events happening downtown or even meeting new people – social media platforms like Facebook groups or Meetup groups work wonders. Immigrant Women Network is one such Facebook group where you can find fellow Immigrant women living in your city.
To conclude, these are 8 tried and tested ways that have been helpful for people new to the city. Taking that first step and getting started somewhere is very important.
Remember, you will always have the comfort of your home. But to make this new country feel like home you need friends and like minded folks in your life. So, leap out of your comfort zone, and explore the place; who knows what adventures and lessons await you? Make yourself the SHEro/Hero of your story, and start today!
Also, share your experiences of exploring a new city, we would love to hear.
About the writer – Radhika Bajaj is a Digital Content Designer with a master’s degree in International Studies and child rights. Apart from her research in world politics, she’s very fond of art and graphic design and currently volunteers at Open Roads Michigan as a content creator.