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5 Signs You’re at Home in a New City

white picket fence

How do you know when you're home sweet home?

You know that horribly awkward feeling you have when you attend someone’s wedding or birthday party but you don’t know anyone other than the host? A quick hello to the one person you’re comfortable with and then two hours of guessing what other people are talking about while they ignore you. (Ok so maybe if you’re an extrovert those  hours are spent starting a conga line and making 150 new friends, but for us introverts it’s a special kind of hell.)

I was a little worried that’s what moving to Tucson would feel like. And while I felt like a stranger here for a couple of weeks, I settled in much more quickly than I expected. Having never lived outside of Austin until five months ago, I started wondering what it is that makes a place feel like home. It’s not just “meeting people” or finally remembering that 1st Ave. is east of Stone Ave. (or is it west?). No, it’s a handful of milestones that together add up to Home Sweet Home.

5 Signs You’re at Home in a New City:

1. You run into people. There’s just something comforting about seeing someone you know in the Target checkout aisle.

2. You ask someone for a favor. I think I finally felt at ease here when we felt comfortable asking someone to take care of our dogs when we went out of town. (Thanks, Andrew and Sarah!)

3. You make impromptu plans with people. This is a big one for me. There are friends you make plans with and there are friends you can call up last minute just to hang out and eat Sonoran hot dogs. Both are great, the latter feel like home.

4. Your lame vs. cool radar gets back up to full strength. When I read the New York Times travel recommendations for spending 36 hours in Tucson, I knew enough about the city to roll my eyes at their suggestion to waste precious hours at the bland upscale shopping center La Encantada.

5. You know the newscasters’ names and can sing at least one local jingle. I’ve always been fascinated by local news and think it’s a weirdly entertaining way to learn more about a place. My favorite Tucson anchor names? Vinnie Vinzetta and Lou Raguse! And no I didn’t make those up. And of course being a jingle writer’s daughter and a world class jingle-singer-alonger, inadvertently memorizing a local company’s jingle (Tucson Federal Credit Union, anyone?) means I can kick back, relax and feel sure that I’m among friends.

Image by cloudsoup

 

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I write what I know (and love). Mostly higher education, writing and public relations.