When you relocate, to Tasmania or to anywhere else, it is important to acknowledge that it will take time to settle into your new home town and to start to make friends.
If you are working you will start to meet people through work and if you have children you are likely to meet other families through the new schools. Those who play sport or have hobbies and other interests will likely find groups and clubs to suit them.
You need to make the time to search out activities and groups that interest you to meet new people and start to be involved in the community. With some effort you will soon start feeling at home and enjoying your new life.
What You Can Do Before You Arrive
There is a lot you can do before you arrive in your new home town to research and find activities and groups that may suit you and your family. All you need is the internet to get started.
Search online for:
1. Sporting clubs and groups. You may be able to find clubs that offer similar activities to what you and your family members enjoy in your current home.
2. Clubs for other hobbies. If you have an interest in a particular art, craft or other hobby, you may be able to find a group or club that you can join. Even if you currently undertake that hobby independently, joining a group in a new town will help you start to make connections.
3. Community groups. Many cities and towns will have community and volunteer groups that provide a great way to become involved in the community and start to make friends.
4. Churches. Joining a new church community will be a good way to feel welcome in your new home town. You will find that many churches will have websites you can visit before you arrive.
5. Cultural groups. You may find that the area you are moving to, when moving overseas particularly, has an existing community of people from your home country. This is one way to start to meet people who have gone through the process of settling into this community.
6. Meetup groups. Visit www.meetup.com and search for groups in your new home town. Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face in many countries and cities around the world. Quite a few groups operate in Tasmania.
7. Local tourism information. Visit the tourism websites for the place you are moving to. This will help you start to become familiar with the city and state and learn about activities that are available and places to visit. Find tourism information for Tasmania.
8. Local government information. The websites of the local government is often a source of great information about the city or town and will provide information about the services they provide for residents and the facilities available in the city or town. Find your new local government website.
9. Facebook pages and groups. When searching for activities and other interests, remember to search Facebook as well. There will often be local groups in place and you can start to become involved before you arrive. If you have children you will likely find local parents groups and playgroup information on Facebook. For example, in Hobart there is the Hobart Mums Network which is a great source of information and support.
10. Blogs and Forums. You may be able to find some online blogs and forums written by people who have already moved to Tasmania or even those who have always lived there and write about the location (and this blog of course!). Learning from the experiences of others offers an insight into the joys and difficulties of relocating to a new place and to Tasmania in particular. It does however teach you about the experiences of others and your experience will never be the same. You will have your own joys and difficulties and hopefully you will after a time feel settled and at home in Tassie.
11. Phone directory. If you are looking for something more obscure you may have trouble finding a website, so have a look in the local online telephone directory to see what is there. See White Pages and Yellow Pages.
What To Do Once You Have Moved
Once you arrive there is so much more you can do to find activities and people that interest you.
1. All of the above! Revisit the list of things that can be done before you arrive. Chances are you have not had time to do everything on that list. Start searching online once you arrive or follow through with the groups you have already found online. You are now in a position to start interacting face-to-face with the groups you found.
2. Start work. If you will be working in your new city or town, then meeting people at your new workplace is a great way to start to build a network and find some friends. You may find that your work is a social place with activities planned outside of work that you can participate in.
3. Schools and childcare. Your children will make friends. Hopefully their friends will have nice parents! Traditionally this is a perfect way to start making friends and becoming involved in the community. A school will provide many opportunities for you to participate in activities and events. Read more about schools and childcare in Tasmania.
4. Say yes. When you are invited to do something, err on the side of accepting the invitation. You just never know what may come from saying yes unless you do. You often need to move outside your comfort zone when in a new place in an effort to start making connections and friends.
What else have you found works to help you settle into a new place?
Jo Reardon grew up in Hobart and has also lived interstate and overseas. Since 2011 Jo has assisted hundreds of people with their move to Tasmania. Jo has undertaken many property searches, inspected hundreds of properties, conducted personal consultations and offered a lot of advice to Move to Tasmania members, blog commenters and others. Jo enjoys sharing her relocation experience and love of Tasmania with anyone thinking about and planning a move to Tassie. Jo and Dale Reardon are the owners of Settled In Pty Ltd, the company which operates the Move to Tasmania website.
You can find Jo on Linkedin Profile for Jo Reardon.