New to the Area? Here’s How to Feel at Home

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Posted On: October 13, 2021
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Family in a park

Moving to a new city is never easy. You don’t know the do’s and don’ts of your new town. You have no history to help you find the hidden gems. It can be easy to get stuck in the familiar national restaurants and store chains you had in your previous hometown.

Whether you moved here for a new job, school, a partner, or just because you needed a break from the big city, Extraco has some tips to help you get acclimated.

Get Out of Your Car

Although most of us interact with our city in our cars, you may want to consider a different way to travel. Walking can be an excellent way to get to know your new city. You’ll be able to slow down and look at shops, restaurants, and parks to find what you like.

You can also hike and bike some of our local trails. You may find a new workout buddy as you pause for some shade in Cameron Park or to enjoy the view of our rivers, canyons, or even the trail at Lake Bryan.

Take your workout indoors at a gym or yoga studio. Group classes can be a great way to meet some new friends who like the things you like. 

Find a Cause

If you were active in social causes in your old city, find a like-minded nonprofit and see how you can volunteer. Volunteering will help you feel a sense of purpose as you get used to being in a new city. It can also help you make some new friends who are also civic-focused and aligned with your causes.

You can use a website such as volunteer match or do a quick Google search to find out local nonprofits that excite you like Habitat for Humanity, the YMCA, or Salvation Army.

Tap Your Network

Did you ask your old friends and acquaintances if they know anyone in Central Texas before you moved? If so, contact those people who said they’d be willing to help show you around. This shared acquaintance will help you feel connected to your old friends while giving you a leg up on getting to know your new community. The Relationship Bankers at Extraco are always welcome to answer any questions you might have! We live and work in the same community and are always happy to give recommendations.

Use Social Networks

Facebook has a variety of groups, so you should be able to find some that focus on local events like the Waco Farmer’s Market or 1MillionCups, local chit-chat, and your specific interests. 

Find out who your neighbors are with the Nextdoor app. View maps of your neighborhood, see local events, and view topics of discussion across tons of categories.

Another great option is Meetup, which lists free gatherings targeted around specific interests. You can search by location, date, type, or category to find a group of people who could be your new best friends.

Have a Party

Want to show your new neighbors and co-workers just how fun-loving you are? Host an in-person or virtual housewarming party. You can do fun activities, such as karaoke or trivia games, to help everyone interact and get to know each other. Pass out cards to your neighbors with the join URL (you can drop them at their door if you’d rather not get too close and personal right now) and email your colleagues.

This can be an excellent way of getting to know the people you’ll be interacting with at work and home.

Check out the Culture

Central Texas has many museums and indoor and outdoor festivals, no matter what you’re interested in. The museums will give you a great look at our history and culture, and our festivals like the Heart of Texas Fair and Rodeo will show you what locals love to do. Check to see what events require pre-payment or registration and which spots and events you can drop in on.

While you’re at the event, you can view the list of sponsors for the museum. Then you can decide which financial institutions, restaurants, health care or wellness providers, and other businesses are a good fit for you. You could also visit booths at the event to find out which local companies are giving back to the community.

Look at the Signs

Do you know those bulletin boards posted in local coffee shops and grocery stores? It can be easy to ignore those, but they can be full of great information about your new city. Find out about community events and volunteer opportunities, as well as meetups that aren’t listed online. Plus, these postings help you see the local vibe and where you fit into it.

Taking these steps will help you feel right at home here in Central Texas!