How to make friends in Portland, OR.
When you move to a new city, it’s normal to feel nervous and out of place. Even if you know that relocating was the right decision, you might still miss your hometown and your old social group.
Although settling into your new home can be uncomfortable at first, there are a few ways to make the process easier. Here’s how to adjust to your new city and start feeling at home.
1. Get Organized
After arriving at your new place, don’t put off unpacking. Having a place full of boxes might make you think twice before inviting a new friend over. Once everything you need is in the right spot, you can kick back and relax. Add your own personal touch by putting up photos of your family, friends, and pets or special mementos that remind you of your previous home.
Want to spruce up your space? Scope out the small businesses in your neighborhood. Check out local thrift stores or boutiques for home goods, or browse antique shops if you’re in the mood to splurge. Part of the fun of moving somewhere new is decorating your home to suit your tastes. Embrace the creative possibilities and make it your own!
2. Tackle Important Paperwork
In between emptying all those boxes, take time out to officially change your address. Start by updating the post office so that you don’t miss any of your mail. Communicate the change in your billing address to your bank and all of your credit card companies, and update your account information for services you want to continue, like Amazon Prime or monthly subscription boxes. And make sure that you register to vote at your new address well before the next election rolls around!
If you have moved across state lines, you will also need to update your driver’s license and license plates to reflect your current residence. In addition, now is the perfect time to go over your auto insurance policy and figure out what level of coverage you really need. Every state will have minimum coverage requirements, and you might also want to consult data from Marketwatch to see if a high percentage of underinsured or uninsured drivers in the area necessitates a need for expanded coverage. You may want to drop coverage that you no longer need, purchase a full coverage policy, or choose personal injury protection. Make sure to compare quotes from a few different companies so that you know you’re getting a good deal.
3. Volunteer Your Time
No matter which causes are dear to your heart, there is sure to be a group of people in the area who care about the same things that you do. Whether you want to help out at a food bank, get your hands dirty at a community garden (there are plenty here in Portland!), or participate in weekly clean-ups to get litter off the streets and keep your city looking beautiful, you can dive right in.
Volunteering gives you the chance to bond with like-minded people and make a positive contribution to your city. You’ll learn more about the issues that locals are trying to tackle, and you’ll make a great first impression on your community. Oh My Apt suggests looking for information about volunteer groups on Facebook, in the newspaper, or at the library.
4. Join a Gym
At first, you may feel a little lost and lonely when you have free time. Want to feel more motivated to leave your house? Join a gym or yoga studio. You may find yourself chatting with the people working out alongside you and striking up friendships that way.
If you’re not into the idea of purchasing a gym membership, but you still want to focus on getting fit and making new friends as you settle in, you have a few options. Perhaps the local pool hosts an adult swim club. Alternatively, you could join up with a running club. This is a great way to push yourself physically, get some fresh air, and explore your city on foot without spending a dime.
5. Get Outside
Natural beauty is everywhere in Oregon! Do a little digging and you’ll find glorious national parks along with tons of other places to explore in the great outdoors. When you inevitably find a spot that’s within an hour’s drive, pack up a picnic and lace up your hiking boots (we love this classic Portland brand)!
These don’t have to be solo excursions, either. See if there is a local hiking club based in your city. Finding other outdoorsy people to accompany you on your weekend adventures can make exploring even more fun. Getting out into nature is a great opportunity to discover a whole other side of your new area.
Getting used to life in a new city won’t happen overnight, and the first few months might feel lonely. But if you make the effort to step out of your comfort zone and explore everything that your city has to offer, you’ll start wondering why you didn’t move there sooner.