We are having an amazing time away on holidays, meeting all kinds of new family in beautiful British Columbia. There is quite the story that precedes why we are here and one day, hopefully my husband will share his story here on the blog with you all! Cause it’s a good one!
To be honest, I’ve taken the last few days as a bit of a break from blogging. SO much work goes into it, you really have no idea (unless you’re another blogger). I LOVE blogging and truly feel I’ve found something fabulous. But I’ve also really enjoyed taking some time off. All things in moderation, right?
So with that said, I felt it was a great time to bring you a guest reader post. And this one is pretty special to me, because she’s my best friend! And she has been for over half my life. This woman I’m about to introduce you to is such a special person to me and I feel SO blessed to have her friendship all of these years. We’ve been through many ups and downs, as any friendships/relationships go through, lived on different continents, married, had children, and everything in between, and our friendship is still standing, even though there are many physical miles between us.
Our stories have had similar twists and turns, especially when it comes to uprooting and starting over in a new community time and time again. I’ve had a front row seat to see how beautifully Christina has transitioned her family many times as they settled into a new community. She is a constant inspiration to me and so I wanted to share her with you all with this post on how to explore and fall in love with your new city, without breaking the bank!
So without further ado, here is Christina!
Hey y’all! I am BEYOND excited to be guest blogging for my amazing and talented BFF! Christine and I have been inseparable since 12 years old! One thing (amongst many) that we share in common is our mutual love for having fun and exploring our city!
Like many of you, I am currently living in the city that I did not grow up in. As a matter of fact, since getting married 10 years ago, my husband and I have moved 8 different times, lived in 3 different provinces, and have also lived in 3 different countries. Our three children (all under 5 years old) were also ALL born in different cities.
Many people have asked us how in the world did we adjust to our new surroundings time and time again? How did we meet new people, that became our friends, that eventually became our “framily” (a phrase we have coined to mean “friends that are like our family”)? How did we fall in love with each and every city we have lived in?
Here are 5 ways that will help you explore and fall in love with your city, without breaking the bank!
1. Make a list of 10 playgrounds/spray parks that you will visit.
My kids and I did this last summer and LOVED it. Thankfully, a local mom blogger had already made a list of the top 10 playgrounds and spray parks in our city (Google it! You might be pleasantly surprised). So, once a week, we would pick a park off the list, pack a picnic lunch, and invite friends to come along. The kiddies enjoyed the fresh air as I enjoyed the adult conversation! And, as an added bonus, my children were so tired from running around, that naptime was gloriously quiet!
**Hint** some parks are more age appropriate than others. I found that taking a quick peak of the park using street view (via Google Maps) helped better prepare me for our adventure.
2. Make a point to attend at least one outdoor concert, festival or free movie.
Summer is a FANTASITIC time to attend an outdoor concert, festival or movie. Check your local newspaper or radio station website to see what is going on in your city. Some of our favourites have been a “symphony under the stars” concert (a free outdoor concert put on by our city’s symphony orchestra), a multicultural festival (celebration of different cultures’ food, costumes, dance, and traditions), a jazz festival (Montreal Jazz Festival…need I say more?!), and a free movie at our zoo.
3. Visit a local farmers market or pick-your-own fruit farms.
I have fond childhood memories of biting into summer’s freshest produce and having the juice run down my face or having red stained hands from all the strawberries I ate while I picked. I want to share that experience with my kiddos. I also want them to learn how GOOD, LOCAL, fresh food can taste, in hopes that they will make healthy choices when Momma isn’t there.
4. Save some major $$$ by visiting a cultural major attraction (zoo, museum, art gallery) on a free admission day.
A lot of major cultural attractions will offer a free admission day once or twice during the year. Sometimes it requires you going on their website to track down the information or calling the venue to find out when it is. Your government city website should also have some great information about other free admission days. We have gone swimming, bowling, and skating for free thanks to our city government.
5. Invite a family that you would like to get to know better over for a meal.
After all our moving around, we have discovered that every city – whether big or small – starts to feel the same after awhile. In the end, it all comes down to the relationships that you have invested into and the people you have chosen to REALLY live life with that makes a city feel like home. And, you know what? That doesn’t happen over night. Like Christine wonderfully blogged about here, sometimes to make a friend, you have to be a friend. So, muster up some courage and text that family that you want to get to know better. You never know, the simple 8-word question, “Do you want to come over for dinner?” might just be the start of a beautiful friendship.
Well, I truly hope you enjoyed this post and learning five ways to explore and fall in love with your city, while not breaking the bank! Fabulous ideas, Christina!
Love & Blessings,
*Some images used in this post are stock images