Moving to a new place gives a fresh view on life and a new invigoration. In the first few weeks after moving to a new location, you have to absorb the world around you. From the way you get to work to the nearby supermarkets, and from the culture of the city to finding what places you want to explore. When I first moved to Charleston, I couldn’t help but look around.
It’s easy to spot a new person or someone who is not from your city because they move their heads. They look around to see what’s going on. Instead of staring forward, they look at the size of the buildings and the restaurants as they pass by. New people do not keep their heads down, there’s too much to see!
In those first weeks, I think people are more authentic. They don’t know the area and they don’t have a reason to please others. When you talk to them, they are more present. They are more involved in their environment and easier to talk to.
As time goes on, we learn to look forward. We already know where we’re going and how we’re going to get there, so we go on autopilot. If we know where we’re going, we can just sit in our heads. We’re not going to get lost. So we can think about what we’re going to do today or how work was. We lose touch with the moment.
In today’s culture, this is even easier. We can pull out our phones and just sit on Facebook. When we’re sitting on the subway or the bus to work, we don’t look around. We think we already have experienced the subway and there’s no reason to look for anything new.
There’s something to be learned from those initial moments after you move to a new place. When you’re look around, you’re more involved with the world. By interacting, you are living life. Sitting in your head or spending all day thinking is not living. It’s just thinking. In your daily life, start to notice how much you look around. Do you spend all day looking forward or do you openly explore your environments?