Settling into a country community

Rural communities are very welcoming of new people to town. These are some ways to help you make the transition.

Visit the local library and tourist centre. These centres will have maps, newspapers, community calendars, brochures and much more.

Invite a close relative or friend to stay with you right after the move. You can explore unfamiliar territory together and you'll have help unpacking.

Remember the rule about 6 degrees of separation. Contact friends and relatives about their ties to your new town. Someone always will know someone who lives or who has lived in your new community. Give them a call or take them to a café or pub and ask them to tell you about the town.

Buy a map and start exploring. Seeing your new town is fun and right away gives you something in common with other people.

Join a local sports team. Even if you have never played that sport before, have a go. Many health professionals have suddenly become tennis or soccer players on arrival in a new town.

Say yes to everything. As the new person in town and at work you will be invited to activities, parties and gatherings. Even if it is uncomfortable to begin with, go along and make the effort. It will be worth it in the long run.

Look for things you enjoyed in your old town. If you enjoy golf, find out about your local golf facilities. If you were part of a support group, see if there is a similar group in town.

Go to all the local community events. Even the ones you would never have considered going to before moving. Local events are an important part of country life.

Buy the local newspaper. This is an easy and enjoyable way to get acquainted with a new community and to get a taste of what life is like there.

Become a volunteer. Community service and volunteering may be one of the best ways to create meaningful new ties. Find opportunities through local community centres or libraries, your job, churches or schools.

Join a club! Salsa dancing, rock climbing, chess?

Find other new people. Seek out other people who have moved recently. They will be in the same stage of getting settled, so they will have as much spare time as you.

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