Lo, those many years ago (pre-social media), if you were moving , your best bet to learn about your new area was to contact the Chamber of Commerce. They would send you a “Welcome Packet” with static information, provided from a very “P.C.” perspective–not necessarily all that helpful. Fast forward to today: Facebook can be one of your greatest friends.
- Search Facebook for groups that have the town/region you’re moving to in the name. You can further narrow the search by putting in more specific modifiers like “babysitting” or “parents” or “foodies” or “transplants”.
- Once you find a general or more focused group that seems like it might have people with similar lifestyles/concerns, join the group (often, you need to request permission). For example, one of the local groups serving my area is the Lower Merion Community Network page.
- Announce yourself! Introduce yourself, explain where you’re moving from, what your family situation is (if you would like to share that) and ask advice about something you’d genuinely like to know about–e.g. “What pre-schools in the area accept kids in diapers?”, or “Can someone recommend a dentist with Saturday hours?” or “What is your favorite moderately priced B.Y.O.B. ?” People will respond and you can private message anyone you would like to establish more of a relationship with. You’d be amazed how useful candid information can be and these on-line connections often lead to real-life friendships, with locals as well as with other transplants.
- Ask for links to other pertinent Facebook pages as well as other resources. The best references for resources are people who actually use them.
- Use keyword searches on these pages. Most have a search function and you could, for example, look up “best playground” or “maternity clothes” to find postings that connect you to people who can help make your move and settling-in process easier.
If you are relocating to the Philadelphia/Main Line area, please go to my relocation tab. If you’d like to read other blog entries related to relocation, please scroll down a couple of lines and click on RELOCATION (to the right of FILED UNDER). Thanks!