2020 is here – a new decade, a new year and a new start all await you in your new city. Starting over without any sense of familiarity can feel disorienting and frustrating, but once you find your stride in your new environment, your move to Bend, Oregon, will be more rewarding than ever.

Our tips for learning your surroundings and putting yourself out there may help you quickly build a new life in Bend.

1. Have a tourist day

Before you try to blend in with the locals, view your city through the eyes of tourist. Tackle a map of monuments, museums, and other attractions that give Bend its history and culture.

2. Walk around

Explore Bend by foot rather than by car to take in all the small businesses and unique shopping centers. The local storefronts and hidden gems easily become a blur through your rearview mirror.

3. Find the popular spots

Research the best coffee shops, bars and restaurants in town and give them a visit. They’re popular for a reason and may expose you to the vibe of Bend.

4. Don’t visit the same place twice – at first

For the first few weeks, try to visit a variety of places around town. Avoid going to the same spot twice to ensure you can fully experience the range of businesses and find your favorites.

5. Become a regular

Once you’ve visited all the relevant establishments within your vicinity, determine which will be your everyday spots for coffee, drinks, and quick lunches. Connect with the staff and visit frequently to become a regular. If you want them to remember you, make sure you remember them.

6. Be BOLD

Moving to an unfamiliar place was already a bold move, but it’s time to be even bolder. Courageously talk to strangers when you’re out and ask questions about the area. Most Bendites are welcoming and open to building connections and making new friends – it’s the human experience.

7. Find community activities

Getting involved in your community introduces you to a diversity of people in Bend. Whether it’s volunteering, morning markets or community yoga classes, you’ll discover likeminded people to spend your time with and have something to look forward to regularly.

8. Say ‘yes’

As the new person in town, you’re not really in the position to turn down social opportunities. Say yes to all invites that come your way, even if they seem out of your comfort zone. You may be surprised by the experience.

9. Hang with your coworkers

You’ll spend a majority of your time at work, so bonding with your new coworkers is a must. Show genuine interest in their lives and don’t pass on the chance to participate in company happy hour.

Even with these tips for getting acquainted to your new surroundings, you may still have difficulty finding your place. Remember, lasting friendships aren’t built in a day and take time to grow and solidify. One day, you’ll wake up and Bend will feel like home with your favorite baristas, new friends and hobbies.

Need help learning about all things Bend? Bend Relocation Services staff is fully equipped to answer your questions and highlight the best places to help our city feel like home.