Another approach of connecting with a new city I’ve tried is to take up childhood hobbies again, with the idea of meeting like-minded people who speak your nerd language. Growing up, I was always in choirs and involved in music, so I decided to audition for the Santa Barbara Choral Society, where I sang soprano for two years — once even for an arts benefit honoring Christopher Lloyd.
Besides joining organizations, I try to be as aware of events as I possibly can, following all of the popular social media outlets in town and dragging my husband to everything that looks interesting. I’ve attended neighborhood block meetings, read to children at a “reading buddies” program, shopped at farmer’s markets, spoken at elementary school career days and gone to free local concerts, all in an attempt to forge my own connection to a place I never knew would be my home.
I don’t want to give a false impression: There are times I feel like telling my husband to quit so we can move back home to live next door to my best friends and attend my niece’s soccer games. There are also moments where I want to pack up and move to an entirely neutral city where we can both start over, but I know this is largely unrealistic.
Deciding to set down roots with a spouse in a new city can be difficult and often compromising (particularly if you’re the one “trailing” behind), but each new place we live presents us with an opportunity to get to know a brand new place — and it always surprises me how a new city can sneak its way into my heart through its food, its quirky boutiques and most importantly, its people.