Moving 101: 10 Tips for Scouting Out Your New City
Yay! You're moving to a new city! You've leased an apartment, you're packed up, the truck is loaded and you're off to your next adventure. But then it hits you - the realization that you are moving to a place you don't know, and quite possibly, have never even visited. Moving anywhere can be overwhelming but moving to a new city can be that and a little bit of everything else - scary, stressful and exciting to name a few. Sure, you've probably Googled where you will be living, but Googling something does not mean you are suddenly an expert (I'm talking to you, everyone.). Immersing yourself and scouting it out are some of the best things you can do to get acquainted and find your way in this new life of yours.
1. FIND YOUR COFFEE SHOP | As much as it pains me to say this, I'm not talking about Starbucks (yet). Find a local, non-chain coffee shop. Many coffee houses are hangouts for locals, so that will allow you to really get a feel for some of them. Local coffee shops also tend to have lots of community info posted which can be a huge benefit to you. Checking out that scene is a great way to open you up to venturing out to the bigger things. Think of this as a first date of sorts.
2. LOSE YOURSELF IN THE CITY | Get lost. Literally. Drive around or even walk around if it makes sense and is completely doable. You'll want to act like a tourist, but avoid hitting up the tourist spots. What I mean by that is avoid any "attraction" type places. At least for now. Get a little to-do list together prior to stepping out, and note what you find and where you find it. Keep, of course, your interests in mind so you don't waste your time. You never know what kind of off-the-radar place you'll find by simply getting lost on purpose. This is an especially wonderful thing to do if this is a new city, as in you have never visited it prior to your move.
3. UTILIZE YOUR APARTMENT CONCIERGE | Apartment concierges are a gold mine, and there are quite a few Camden communities that have 24-hour concierge services such as The Camden in Hollywood, Camden NoMa in D.C., and Camden Grandview in Charlotte. Don't be afraid to ask them for recommendations to restaurants, closest public transportation depots, local hot spots - even what places to avoid.
4. MYCAMDEN | This one is a bonus available to Camden residents only. MyCamden is a nifty site where each Camden community has its own social page where you can interact with neighbors and office staff. You can ask questions, join groups with similar interests, and get info on your community, including notices and events. It's an awesome resource for extracting info from people who are quite literally in your nook of the world.
5. TALK TO PEOPLE | This can be anyone! Cab drivers, co-workers, neighbors, the office staff at your leasing office...literally anyone can be a wealth of knowledge. The more people you talk to and the more questions you ask, the more you will find out. How can you make friends if you don't talk to people, right? I will note that this doesn't have to be face-to-face every single time. You can meet people and chat through forums such as Facebook groups or even friend finding apps. One little tip here is if a co-worker or a neighbor asks you to go with them somewhere - do it! This is the perfect time to break out your 'YOLO' mantra and soak up everything the experience will offer.
6. FIND YOUR FIVE | What were the top five places you went to in your previous city? Maybe your five are the grocery store, day care, drug store, gym and a Starbucks (see...I brought it back). For starters, scout those places out by using the closest location to your new apartment. Next see what kind of reviews they have or just go there. For things like grocery stores and drug stores, you may be moving to a place that has some of your old chains, but if not, a visit is in order. If you don't like it, you can always walk out and never go back. Finding your five will do wonders for helping you feel more stable.
7. WATCH THE LOCAL NEWS | Watching the local news in a new city can be an enormous help in getting the 4-1-1 on your new city. Even picking up the local paper each day will help. These will let you know what is going on all around you including grand openings, events and crime.
8. GO TO LOCAL EVENTS | Every city these days has a website featuring an events calendar. You can find things such as concerts, cultural events, outdoor movies, festivals and so much more. These types of events are definitely a must-do when you move to a new city. The feel you can get about a place from any one of those is priceless. Attending one of the aforementioned events is a great way to break the ice in your social life.
9. GET ON THE INTERNET | I know. You're probably like - didn't she just tell me that Googling doesn't make me an expert? Let me clarify. I'm not saying to Google generalities. Google specific things that will matter to your new life. Think of the internet as a yard that sometimes may need to be weeded. Weed out the unnecessary and focus on what is going to help you discover anything and everything you need to know for settling-in purposes. Make sure if you are looking at reviews of certain places to filter out what may be a biased review. Yelp is a great site to get reviews on almost every place that has ever opened. This one can be involved when done right, so make sure to set aside some time so you aren't distracted or overwhelmed.
10. DON'T STRESS | See that girl right there. Don't be her. I promise you will make it through the transition of moving, and you'll be stronger for it. Whether it is a temporary move or a permanent one, stress can be a serious buzz-kill and zap what joy you may have been feeling. Just give it some time. Nothing will happen overnight but the more you put yourself out there, the better it will be for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to making new friends and making this new city your home.
Now that you know what to do once you are in your new city, find the perfect Camden apartment to call home.
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