How to Thrive in a New Place

My sister has recently moved to Jacksonville, Florida and has found herself in the habit of wasting her day away in front of the television. She has moved away from the family and friends she’s known her whole life and isn’t sure what to do in a new place where she literally knows no one. In the spirit of sisterhood this post is for her. Love you, Misty!

My first advice is to get out of the house. There’s something to be said for waking up each morning, throwing on some makeup and heading out the door. Even if you don’t know where it is you’re going. For me, the idea of human interaction is thrilling. You never know who you’re going to meet or what you’re going to learn simply by taking that first step.

Here are some ideas on where to go and what to do:

Sip a latte – Ok, so it doesn’t have to be a latte but do find a coffee house (mine is usually a Starbucks) and spend some time there. Bring something to occupy yourself and enjoy the atmosphere. So many people come in and out that the opportunity to strike up a conversation is great. Give someone a compliment on their fabulous taste in shoes or tell a person that their kid is cute (only do this is they actually have a kid with them, otherwise it’s creepy). As long as you’re friendly and approachable it shouldn’t be long before a conversation strikes up. If you become a regular there’s a good chance that you’ll run into the same people repeatedly therefore giving you an opportunity to form more meaningful relationships.

Read – Whether it’s an award-winning novel or a magazine article on how to maximize your sex life reading both gives you something to do and passes the time quite nicely. Go to your new favorite coffeehouse or spread out a blanket in the local park and get lost in the publication of your choice.

Stay informed – Bring your laptop with you when you leave the house and stay informed on what’s going on in the world as well as your community. News sites such as are a great place to go for a variety of national news headlines. For more local news, check out your city’s website which may also provide information on upcoming events and volunteer opportunities that you may interest you. If you don’t have a laptop goo to your local library.

Join a group – Websites like have made is so easy to connect with other like-minded people. Look for a group that you feel shares your same interests and join the fun. It’s automatic friends1 You may not like the first group (or groups) but keep trying and you’re bound to find the perfect fit.

Pick up a hobby – From stamp collecting to train building there really is a hobby for everyone. You just have to find what tickles your fancy. If you’re not sure where to begin check out a website such as for tips and ideas. Once you’ve found out what you enjoy it’s another avenue to connect with others who share the same interests.

Catch a flick – A movie is a great way to pass the time and cure boredom. It may not be the most social of places but a good movie can lift your spirits. During the week a mid-day flick is usually cheaper and if you’re not opposed to packing you own snacks then you won’t break the bank.

Take a class – Check out your local community center and see what they have to offer. Many have classes such as yoga, painting, photography and much more. While there is sometimes a small fee to participate it’s usually a fraction of the cost compared to other places. You’ll learn something new, get to know your fellow classmates and maybe even find a new passion.

Explore – However you choose to spend your days, make it a point to explore your new community. Go down a new street each day or check out a different neighborhood and you’ll slowly become more familiar and comfortable with your new town.

The point is to get out and be proactive each day. As soon as you make the choice to step out the front door your world automatically opens up. There are opportunities all around you to meet new people and learn new things so long as you make the effort.

Published by Ashley Zoerner

I'm originally from New Orleans, LA and grew up in the nearby town of Waveland, MS. I graduated from Georgia State University with a communications degree in 2010. Since then I've traveled the country and world meeting the most interesting people. My dream is to tell people's stories and share my passions with the world.

2 thoughts on “How to Thrive in a New Place

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