#6 Relo Challenge What to Do

ESCAPE THE BOXES
unpublished photograph © David Calicchio 200

Relocating, boxes and what to do?  It is time to do something normal, something that is not relocation work.  Life has been on hold for a month or more.  It is time to get life back to living.

THE NORMAL THING

Yoga, running, reading in the park, playing halo, museum lectures, writing group, garden club, Rotary, school volunteer, field trips, sewing, cooking….

What activity makes you feel normal?

Traveling every summer to visit my girlfriend, my first activity would be to stop by Target.  It’s not that I really needed anything.  I visited Target because it somehow grounded me in an unfamiliar place.

That first visit made me a part of where I was.

MEET THE LOCALS

(c) Publicdomainphotos | Dreamstime.com

These familiar activities are a perfect places to meet the locals.  The activity created by a common interest gives you an instant connection.

Whether you are running, volunteering or walking in the park, you will find people to talk to.  Asking them simple questions about the local area will be welcome and as I have stated before, just about everyone likes to be helpful.

Asking locals where they take out of town guests is an excellent question.  This will not only give you destinations but insight into what they find interesting.

And the bonus is that you will have something to talk about when you see them next time.

BE A TOURIST

Being a tourist is pretty easy these day with the internet.  There are a number of blogs, even for the smallest towns written by people just like you.

I visited Pawhuska, Oklahoma recently.  With only 3500 residents, one blogger found 70 things to do and see in this 2 stop light town.

Start exploring for you and your future guests!

Without kids’ sports’ schedules and dinner invitations, NOW is the time to explore the museums, libraries, city events, sports teams, heritage village, parades, state fairs, theme park, and brewery tours.

Learn how to make Indian flat bread, see the first ladies’ dresses or learn to ski.  Beyond putting the dishes away, this new world is your oyster.

Explore like you are trying to convince your mom/sister/friend that this move was the best idea ever!  You will find your footing as well as plenty of things you like.

SEARCHING

The internet makes being a tourist easier than ever.

Every community, city and state spends a ton to entice you to come visit.  Take advantage of their websites as well as what you find with these search ideas:

  • City site, click on the visitor link
  • Chamber of Commerce members
  • City tourism board
  • State tourism board
  • Community Parks and Recreation
  • Library events
  • Local and State Events

Need the personal touch, call the library research staff.  They love a good research project.  Also check in with the chamber of commerce and the local or state visitors centers.

If you have hotel nearby, look in the lobby for their concierge and tourist brochure rack.

THE LOCAL THING

Just about everyone in your new community will have something they love about living there.  A restaurant, a parade or festival, experiencing any of these is part of being a local.

Ask about high school football’s Friday night lights, the annual Christmas parade or the Bluebonnets pictures. Every town, county and/or state has their thing.

Participating in community life is being part of the community.

Other ways to be part of the community:

  • Attend the city council meeting
  • Visit the Saturday farmer’s market
  • See the homecoming parade
  • Attend your HOA Bunco
  • Take swing lessons at the community center
  • Volunteer at the library
  • Be a voting volunteer
  • Join the local Rotary or Lions club

Participating in the community help understand what is going on outside the 4 walls of your new home.  You will make new connections and build that support system.

DO SOMETHING NEW

Yes, another encouragement to do something NEW!

The clean slate of relocation is a unique opportunity.  Take advantage.  If you have moved to hockey country for the first time, go see a game or set you kids up with lessons.

If you’ve wanted to try areal Yoga or learn a new language, make it happen.

Nothing is set.  No schedule requires your attention.

Dream about the what ifs and the want to dos.

The need to dos will take care of themselves.

For more ideas and “What to Do” direction check out the
What to do worksheet!

If you have any suggestions to help others please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com.  Together we live great Relo Lives!!

Annette
A ReloMom currently in the wilds of Texas, working to encourage and inspire others while seeking another adventure.

#4 Relo Challenge Support Systems

Calling friends and support system for help
Free photo 8141170 © Dmitry Ersler – Dreamstime.com

Support Systems are one of the most overlooked problems in Relocation.

Most who move are self-starters, people who just get things done.  Because of this we do not always recognize the structure around us that supports and allows our lives to function as they do.

WE CAN FIGURE OUT ANYTHING

And we can.  The problem is, figuring it out takes time and sometime events occur that need an answer RIGHT NOW!
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Mary and Stephan moved into their new Minneapolis home last week.  The new job was going well and they were both excited about exploring the new parks and lakes with their kids.  On Sunday night Stephan wasn’t feeling well and by 10pm Mary knew something wasn’t right.

She called 911 and the ambulance arrived.  Stephan was having a heart attack.

Which hospital?  She didn’t know.  The kids were asleep, she couldn’t go with him.  She  didn’t have any friends.  Would her Realtor answer at this time of night?

What does Mary do?
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Even a month or two from now, she would know ~ who to call, where to go and how the process would unfold.  All the decisions made and expectations known.

When relocating knowing what to do is intact, knowing who and how to is gone. So, lets create both an immediate and long term support structure.

SUPPORT IS ABOUT PEOPLE

Support System: a network of people who provide an individual with practical or emotional support. ~ Merriam Webster.com

A Support System is knowledgeable and reliable.  It is consists of a web of people from the neighborhood, school, work, social groups, the hardware store, the city and more that are go to resources.

This is why choosing your initial relocation team is so critical.  Beyond helping you find and close on your home, these people are your first connections and friends in your new community.

WHO IS ON MY INITIAL LIST

Real Estate: Realtor, Mortgage Banker, Inspector
Work: co-workers, co-worker spouses
School: PTA President/Membership, School Counselor, Daycare Manager

These are real people who have personal experience with the schools, neighborhoods, commuting, local hospitals and everything in the community.  And though you are not friends yet, they will have information only gained by living there.

WHAT YOU WANT TO KNOW

How to set up utilities
How to apply for homestead
How to pay local taxes
Types of local grocery stores
New processes (i.e. quarterly pest treatment)
Closest Target or Sam’s Club
How to obtain a drivers license, etc.

Family Specific local knowledge is based on your life stage, what your family does for activities, special needs and life style.

School required immunizations
Residency requirements
Eldercare
Biking clubs
Select Soccer
Social/Charity/City Clubs
Community Orchestra
Transportation/commuting options, etc.

Think about how you live life.  Now think about who and what supports or make life work the way it does.

Defining this before your relocation is important.  These are the topics to ask of the first few people you work with and meet in the process of relocating.

IF YOU HAVE NOT CHOSEN a Real Estate Team, these are excellent topics to use in the interviewing process.  The information will help you decide if each of the members understand you and what you are working to get accomplished.

#4 Relo Challenge Support Systems Worksheet

The #4 Relo Challenge Support Systems Worksheet through questions and suggestions will help create a list to pursue.  It will help you identify what you are looking for and why.  This makes the support system easier and more efficient to establish.

As will most things this will evolve over time.  So, do not get caught up in making it perfect.

HOW TO SOLVE MARY’S ISSUE ON THE FLY

In Mary’s position, the first call after 911 Emergency, would be to anyone local who will answer the phone in the middle of the night.  The new boss, Realtor, or mortgage broker.  The second action would be to knock on a neighbor’s door that you met while moving in.

Without help, pack up the kids, their immunization records and head to the hospital together.  This way daycare is possible in the morning.

If the #2 Emergency Worksheet is complete, you already know who will pick up, where the kids can go and the where the best hospital is.

PERSONAL SUPPORT SYSTEM

If this is your first move, you may not realize all of the pieces you have put into place.  The people, processes and organizations that make your life run the way it does have been put there through experience and recommendations.

This is what you will do again, but this time more efficiently.

By completing the Support Systems Worksheet you will have the first draft to having your life supported and running like you want to live.

If you have any suggestions to help others please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com.  Together we live great Relo Lives!!

Annette
A ReloMom currently in the wilds of Texas, working to encourage and inspire others while seeking another adventure.

#1 Relocation Challenge Who to Call

ReloMoms Who to Call
Who to call after relocation

Relocation week one!  The kids are sick.  The washer is missing a part. The water is still not on.  School starts Monday.  And oh by the way you need to start interviewing.

Who DO you call in those first few days or weeks?

It was your friend.  She knew everyone and had a knack for knowing what to do and who to call, but she is 350 miles away.

In this new city, the only people you know are your realtor, mortgage banker and perhaps a neighbor who dropped by to introduce themselves.  Not friends, but the only locals you know.

WHO AND WHAT YOU NEED

Is everything an answer?

Perhaps, but let’s categorize these needs 4 ways: Me, Home, Children, and Spouse

Below each list out what each needs to move forward tomorrow and in the next week.  Here are some examples.

Dividing them in to categories makes each easier to prioritize.  You mind will automatically jump to the ones with the most urgency.

The relocation challenge of this list is that it takes extra time to make any of this happen.  Phone calls, online reviews and referrals from the few people you know here will add 5 to 15 minutes to each.

Knowing this ahead of time will help manage expectations.

WHERE TO START

Start with who you know, then move to those organizations or other individuals who are accessible.

Everyone loves to feel like the hero, especially when helping kids.  Asking the questions gives them that opportunity.

BEFORE THE MOVE

Create an organized list, by type, of all the go to people in your phone.  Chances are these are the same services, activities and types of organizations you will look for in your new community.

As you contact the “Where to Start List”, ask them for referrals to fill out your list.

If you are working on your second black belt OR your children are current Karate students, ask everyone.

Oh by the way, do you know of a great Karate school?

You will find that they have children, neighbors or cousins that love their dojo.

A FEW ADDITIONS

Emergencies happen.  These are times when you call your next door neighbor, your mom or your best friend.  Those are not available in the first few weeks so you need to be prepared for

Just in case

Work Colleagues

Being a corporate move your first line is the new colleagues.  These are the people you met before the move and now are seeing on a daily basis.  That working relationship is actually stronger than any of the other connections.

Community Options

Professional organizations and services are your next option.

Medical and Childcare will be the most important issues that will arise.  A medical emergency that keeps you from being able to take care of the children is worst case.

As you are asking for opinions and referrals, remember to ask for local organizations that help with 24 hours childcare as well as preferred emergency medical facilities.  If anyone in the family has critical and specific medical issues this is imperative.

ONE LEADS TO THE NEXT 4

Your dependable Who to Call list will grow exponentially.  Everyone will have multiple referrals for you.

The entire list may be filled in a few chats, especially if both of you work on it.

Who to Call Worksheet

For more information, ideas or encouragement, please email me at Annette@ReloMoms.com

Annette
A ReloMom currently in the wilds of Texas, working to encourage and inspire others while seeking another adventure.

RELOCATION: Building a Personal Support System

(c) Aleksandrl | Dreamstime.comBuilding a personal support system after relocation is KEY to adapting, creating a sense of community and finding your place.  It provides the connections, information and daily expectations.

Personal Support System Defined: a community based network of family, friends, acquaintances and known partners (mechanics/contractors/medical/teachers/etc.) that provide regular or known assistance, knowledge and encouragement.

This takes how long??

Building it as needed?  12 to 18 months.   That’s quite while.

The dry cleaner is asked about local Indian restaurants.  The PTA Membership chair leads the family through Gifted and Talented testing.  The neighbor’s kid watches the dog for that weekend trip to Florida.  It gets done but SLOWLY.

AGAIN, I’m Exhausted??  After relocating across country, finding housing, unpacking,  and trying to learn the local processes…you are spent.  You don’t have 18 months of energy.

NETWORKING!!! Not Excited? It may seem like a lot of work after the last few months, but you have already started.  But with a system, this necessary system can be created in 6 months or less.

So let’s take a look at the process.

    1. Participating & meeting people
    2. Keeping track of people
    3. Extending invitations
    4. Building relationships
    5. All types

Starting with Fun:

You have had enough work, it’s time for a bit of fun?  What do you like to do?  Cook, run, bunco, write, take photos, play the piano or help others?

This is the time where you explore your community with abandon.  Being new to town has a number of advantages.  With no time schedule or obligations, this open time presents endless opportunities to explore and find what you love, or might love to do.

Check out my blog post RELOCATION: Search and find what you LOVE! for search ideas and groups to start with.

All those people: 

Everywhere you go  you will meet new people, at school,  yoga or even playing the piano at the local nursing home.  Strike up a conversation and keep a journal.  A little notebook and pen that will fit easily in a pocket or a purse is all you need to keep track of your new people.

Even though most will not be a “BEST Friend”, remembering their names and something about them will be a blessing to them.  This will bring a smile increase your connection, and in the end, make you feel known and appreciated too.

In the beginning, this is especially important for your sanity.

How about coffee?

Extending an invitation can be a bit intimidating.  None of us like to be rejected, however, it’s most likely not rejection.  It’s only a busy life you are competing with.

My Daughter-in-Law relocated 1873 miles across country last year.  She and the family had only been in Atlanta for 2 years and now found themselves in Salt Lake City.  Even though she was somewhat practiced at creating her network, she again found it difficult to get a yes to any invitation.  Coffee, play dates or meet at the park?  Frankly, it took a while.

She kept asking though.  They participated in some of the HOA events and even became a room mom at school.  This was so outside of her comfort zone, being more of an introvert, however, she kept asking and participating knowing this is where her support system was going to come from.  Once she got to know these ladies on this level, she started to hear yes for activities outside of these groups.

(c) Aleksandrl | Dreamstime.com

It takes time:

Relationships are built by time and shared experiences.  That is why my Daughter-in-Law decided to start where she was already.  She was there at drop off and pick up. She was going to the HOA pool with the kids. Everywhere my daughter-in-law went, she an effort to meet as many moms in a similar life stage as she could.

Everyone is not a “bestie”, but everyone has the potential to be a connection to the community.  By spending time then you know what type of friend they are.

Connections found:

As you already know by this point, there are different types of friends.  Those you see at school drop-off and have a quick conversation, those you can cry on their shoulders and even those you can travel with.https://www.shastanelson.com/friendships-dont-just-happen/Every friend does not fill every box.  In the book, Friendships don’t just happen by Shasta Nelson, she talks about the different Circles of Connectedness.

  • Connect Friends
  • Common Friends
  • Confirmed Friends
  • Community Friends
  • Committed Friends

Shasta talks about life after relocation and divorce.  She talks about walking by a group of laughing women lunching on a patio, like Sex in the City, and desperately wanting to go over and ask, “Will you be my friend too!!”

With focus and planning though, you will be deep in the community in less than 6 months.  Keep track of that little notebook.  And as they say,

“wash, rinse and repeat”

Efficiently building a Personal Support System is key to the relocation process because having this in place gets the whole family gets back to living.  It takes time and repetition, but will settle the family while finding new things to explore.  Keep you head up!  Life will become normal.


Next week look for  RELOCATION: Maslow’s hierarchy and you ~ moving up to self-actualization and meeting your needs after helping everyone else.

If you need more explanation OR you have moved and don’t know where to start email us at  questions@relomoms.com as well as join the email list.  We love to help!!

Have a great week and see you next week.