7 Tips to Acclimating to a New City

I recently moved to a new city. Lexington, Kentucky is a great place to live. I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t enjoy living here.

Along the process of adjusting to a new city, I discovered a few keys to acclimating quickly.

Here are 7 tips to acclimating to a new city:

Check out the local hamburger places – I figure if we can find a good hamburger…we won’t starve. Seriously, pick one of your favorite foods and check out all the options. For me, there are plenty of hamburger choices in Lexington. That’s made the transition much easier. I’ve tried many of them. I have a few more to go. (I’ve loved when someone tells me…”Don’t get the biggest one on the menu. You won’t be able to eat it all.” Really? So far, not true!)

Be a tourist – We have tried to find the places someone would go to if they were only in town for a few days. We’ve picked up the tourist brochures. These places will likely be what the town is known for and we want to identify with the city. I’ve also been listening to the stories and reading the history of the city. It’s been interesting a few times to remind the locals of things they’ve forgotten about Lexington, or to stir more conversation with trivia I’ve learned.

Buy a t-shirt – We wanted to find an identity with the community, so we bought some t-shirts specific to the area. In this case, I’m sporting a few UK logos too. If I’m going to live here, and I want to love living here, I want to love what the locals love. You don’t have to switch sports loyalties, but it will help acclimate if you can find some identity within the community.

Join a group that lets you meet people – I’m doing Leadership Lexington this next year. It’s a 9 month program that gives participants a comprehensive look at the possibilities and opportunities of the city. In addition to getting to know 42 local leaders, I get exposed to areas of the city it may take me years to discover otherwise.

Make a Gotta see/do/meet list – I’m keeping a list, and checking it twice. I can’t see everything in a week, maybe even in a year, but with a list I can slowly work my way through the key things I want to do and people I want to meet.

Avoid routines – I try to run different routes every day. I seldom drive the same way to get somewhere. I’m eating at different restaurants and ordering different meals. I want to experience as much uniqueness as I can.

Hide the GPS – Get lost. I’m purposefully trying to go places where I have to find my own way on my own. I’ve been confused a few times. That’s okay. It was by design. It’s helping me learn the city faster.

It’s quickly beginning to feel like home. Actually, sooner than I thought it would. I think part of that is that Cheryl and I have been intentional in trying to learn and love our new city. Obviously, however, some of you have moved far more times than I have.

How can you help me?

What tips do you have for acclimating to a new city quickly?

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27 thoughts on “7 Tips to Acclimating to a New City

  1. each time i usedd to read smalleer articles that also cleear their motive, and that is also happening with this post
    which I am reading at this place.

  2. Maybe this campaign will do nothing to change the perceptions most people in the West have about Sikhs and the turban. But maybe – just maybe – a few people will see this campaign and say "wow, not all people in turbans are fundamentalists or terrorists – this guy looks pretty cool and normal. Let me learn a bit more about the Sikh faith." Let us hope for the latter, for our sake and that of the next generation of Sikhs.

  3. It's always a great idea to scout around for places to eat or buy food from when moving to a new town. You won't really last long if you don't where to at least get a burger or two.

  4. Have you tried the Cheddar Burger at Charlie Brown's in Chevy Chase? Suggins on Romany Road has a good burger too as I recall.

  5. Moved from Fort Worth to Colorado Springs a few months ago. I knew finding Tex Mex was going to be a killer, so I just decided we needed to "go native" and judge the local Mexican on its own terms–what do the people here like and make up our minds to like it as well.

    Loving me some Colorado Springs now, but what will winter bring?

    UPDATE: Here's the note I sent to El Fenix:

    Help!

    Just moved from Fort Worth to Colorado Springs.

    No one puts chili con carne on their enchiladas up here.

    Please hurry!

      • I grew up in Lexington (my parents attend your church) and now live in Colorado Springs. Both are two of the friendliest cities and my only complaint is that they are not closer together! God put several people in my path within the first few months of moving here, and they have made all the difference. Even found my church through those contacts. In settling in, we seek out the local places, especially restaurants instead of chains. My dad always said to look for the place with a parking lot full of cars with local tags, and you'd find a good place to eat. Pretty good advice! Enjoy Lexington, it's a great place to be!

  6. Here's a different kind of tour that might help in more ways than you'd suspect— 1) Goodwill center (in some cities that may only be a thrift store while in others it will be central distribution center) and interview leadership about the city- 2) largest food bank, same 3) look up the police and fire chaplains and talk to them about their experiences with the depts and the city in general 4) As you work your way through the previous three, ask about and listen for what individuals and orgs do the best work in the city working with the underserved, then add them to your list. 5) Interview homeless individuals about their impressions of the city.

    • These are good. I'm actually doing some of this. I'm meeting with many of the ministries in town doing homeless ministries. Great words.

  7. I have never been to Kentucky before, but I have heard an interesting fact from the Weather Channel website about Lexington,Kentucky. Lexington,Kentucky happens to be one of the most weather-friendly cities in America. I would love to visit sometime and see what's in store for me there….:-)

  8. LOL… the GPS… I am still clinging to mine and we moved to a new place about 8 mths ago… Okay I will try to turn it off! One thing we did was to go to the locally owned and run places, you meet more of the people who have been there for a long time. Have fun in your new God Adventure!
    Twitter: kmac4him

  9. Drive out in the surrounding areas too…the country! I haven't been there in years, but the beautiful Kentucky countryside has something to offer as well.

    Love Bluegrass country!!