17 Tips for Getting to Know a New City

Remember when I told you guys that I would be leaving Miami soon? Well… the time has come and I am officially in Atlanta! I’m excited and nervous to be here, but I’m definitely looking at it as an adventure. I don’t know very many people in the ATL, so I’m on a quest to get to know the city and make a few friends! I’ve compiled a list of some of the best ways to meet people in a new city that I think would be good for everyone. (Totally tooting my own horn here!)

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1. Pick up the local newspaper/city beat
One of the first things that I discovered since coming to Atlanta is Creative Loafing. It’s a newsweekly that features cultural events, art, music, and other local happenings. I’m sure it’s a great way to keep my finger on the pulse of the city. Other cities should have something similar!

2. Look up event blogs in your city
The definitive event blog in Miami has to be Soul of Miami. It lists just about every event that’s happening on any given day. I’m still on the hunt for something similar to it in Atlanta, but I know that once I find it, I’ll be set!

3. Join a gym or sporting team
I normally don’t like gyms because I feel like a hamster in a wheel when I go, BUT I know that it will be a necessary evil when it comes to meeting new people. I’m sure that taking a class or two won’t be that bad, right? And if all else fails, I could join a kickball or dodge ball team or a 5k training group.

4. Meet up with a friend of a friend
I’ve definitely been doing this and it’s the fastest way to make dinner or lunch plans. Six degrees of separation (or in my case one) really helps to break the ice fast!

5. Go people watching
Now that the weather has gotten a lot nicer, it’s much easier to sit around and people watch. This might not be the best way to meet anyone, but it’s a good way to find out whether or not you can see yourself hanging out with the people that you’re watching. …Or is this creepy? Haha.

6. Be friendly
I smile. A lot. Sometimes, I don’t even notice it until someone starts chatting with me. And then I realize that it’s because I seemed “approachable.” This skill (or annoyance depending on what mood I’m in) will come in handy while I’m figuring out my way around town!

7. Go to church
Lots of local churches offer Bible studies, young adult groups, or different services and events just for meeting new people. And, you know, it wouldn’t hurt to attend a service or two!

8. Attend local/cultural events
Every city has events that come up yearly — a fair or carnival, music festival, or art exhibit. No matter the event that you come across, attending a few of them will make you feel more like a local and help you meet others.

9. Start a blog and look up local events for bloggers
One thing that I have working in my favor is this blog! I can’t wait to start attending some of the local events and meeting local bloggers. I’ve been able to make good friends with some South Florida bloggers, so it’ll be great to do the same in Atlanta!

10. Go to a dog park
My dog, Ginger, is back in Miami, but I know that bringing her to a dog park in Atlanta won’t only be a good time for the both of us. Just as Ginger will be running around bonding with her peers, I could be doing the same. Sans the running part.

11. Make friends at work
This is probably the most intuitive way to make friends. Work friends are great because you have someone to share your accomplishments and gripes with. Who knows what you’re going through better that someone who’s going through it too?

12. Go to networking events
Another way to meet people would definitely be to attend networking events. Lots of organizations, like the National Association of Black Journalists for example, have chapters in various locations across the country. Attending networking events will not only introduce you to young professionals in your area; you might even develop some relationships outside of the group.

13. Volunteer
Although the main reason for volunteering is to help someone in need, it doesn’t hurt to be surrounded by people who are into the same cause. So serve food at a local soup kitchen, tutor kids during an after school program, or plant in a community garden!

14. Find some meet ups
Meetup.com has a ton of different local groups to join and, you know, meet up. Just find a category that you’re interested in and get to mingling!

15. Be social
Join a Twitter chat, Facebook group, or Instagram hashtag (like #igersmiami) where you can chat with like-minded people. Who knows, maybe an online friendship can become an offline one.

16. Pick up a hobby
One way to meet other people would be to pick up a hobby. There’s nothing like learning a new skill – cooking, drawing, sewing, whatever! – and making friends with people who share similar interests!

17. Be open to meeting people
It’s easy for me to become a major homebody and not venture out. However, this will only work against me if I’m trying to meet new people. I know that my best bet is to just get out there, ask questions, and just be myself!

Do you have any tips for meeting people in general? Have anything specific for getting to know others in Atlanta? Share them in the comments below!

<3 Maika

 Photo Credit: WeHeartIt (edited by me!)

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