When we moved to Lexington, Kentucky, we quickly discovered it is a great place to live. I never met anyone 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 wouldn’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.
Be a tourist – We tried to find the places someone would go to if they were only in town for a few days. We 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 also listened to the stories and reading the history of the city. It was interesting a few times to remind the locals of things they had forgotten about Lexington, or to stir more conversation with trivia I 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 was sporting a few UK logos too. If I’m going to live somewhere, 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 participated in Leadership Lexington the first 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 got exposed to areas of the city it would have taken me years to discover otherwise.
Make a Gotta see/do/meet list – I kept a list. We couldn’t see everything in a week, and even in a year, but with a list we could slowly work our way through the key things we wanted to do and people we wanted to meet.
Avoid routines – I tried to run different routes every day. Seldom did I drive the same way to get somewhere. We ate at different restaurants and ordered different meals. We wanted to experience as much uniqueness as we could.
Hide the GPS – Get lost. I purposefully tried to go places where I had to find my own way on my own. I was confused a few times. That’s okay. It was by design. It helped me learn the city faster.
Lexington quickly began to feel like home. Actually, sooner than I thought it would.