• Five Ways to Show Your NFL Team Support

    by Patrick Redmond | Aug 29, 2014
    Friday_Favorites_NFL-fansOne of the side effects of moving that few people stop to consider is how difficult it can be to continue supporting your favorite football team in your new surroundings. Team spirit is one of those things that tends to grow stronger the closer you are to the home field advantage, so moving across the country can put a serious kink in your game day celebrations.


    Here are a five fun ways to keep showing your NFL team support regardless of where you and your family will be moving.

    1. Fly Your NFL Banner High: Make your mark in a highly visible way by hanging a team flag outside your new home. This can be especially fun in a neighborhood where sports fervor is high, and you can break the ice by also drawing out a friendly rivalry.
     
    2. Decorate Your Man Cave: A new home means new opportunities in decorating and renovation. Make the most of your football fandom by setting up your basement, garage, or den in classic “man cave” mode. Since you have a fresh canvas to work from, you can go all out in paint colors, furniture, and team paraphernalia. 

    3. Join a Local Fantasy Football League: Making friends and meeting new people can be difficult as an adult in a new city, but sports fandom can help put you out there. Find a fantasy football league at work or in your community as a way to get to know others who share your passion for sports (even if it’s not for your team).

     4. Make a Tour of Sports Bars: Want to get to know your area on a more personal level? Make it a goal to visit different sports bars in your new city. Go on game days to make the most of the atmosphere, or visit the bars during off-times to find out who is more likely to accept your non-local team spirit.

     5. Throw a Game Day Barbeque/Tailgate Party: If getting to know your new neighbors is one of your goals, consider throwing a game day barbeque or outdoor party. Nothing brings neighbors together quite like a block party, and you can also use this time as a way to have an official housewarming gathering.

    Sports have a way of breaking barriers and making it easier to get to know locals. If you want to make the most of your team spirit, turn your love of football into a way to meet new people—and enjoy game day in the process!

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  • Moving to San Diego: Online Resources for New Residents

    by Patrick Redmond | Aug 28, 2014

    Moving to San DiegoOne way to get to know the San Diego region is to head toward the beach with a book and a towel, and see what happens. So many of the city’s top activities take place on or near the ocean, and if water sports are your thing, you’ll never run out of things to see or do.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that sun, surf, and sand are all that San Diego has to offer. If you’d like to delve a little deeper, get to know your new city with these helpful websites.

    San Diego Blog: If you’re new to the area, it might be a good idea to start at this tourism website for the city. Get information on everything from family attractions and parks to arts and culture events here. (SanDiego.org is another good one to try.)

    San Diego Eater: Eat your way through the city with San Diego Eater, which highlights restaurants in all the major neighborhoods and communities. From fine dining to beachside shacks, there’s something here for every palate and every budget. (For a more personalized look at cuisine, try a foodie blog like Kirbie Cravings.)

    San Diego Streets: Get a closer, neighborhood-by-neighborhood look at the city at San Diego Streets. You can learn about new developments and get to know the local culture all in one convenient location.

    San Diego is Awesome: As the name of this website suggests, San Diego is a pretty amazing place to live. Bookmark this site for information and updates on what’s going on locally.

    San Diego Parks & Recreation: From pools and parks to community events, many of the outdoor entertainments that make this area so much fun can be found at this official city site.

    San Diego Sports Commission: If you’re a fan of sports, you may want to stop by the SD Sports Commission. This website features professional league games as well as amateur and junior tournaments and events, so there’s something for everyone.

    San Diego History Center: If you wanted to spend an entire year visiting historical sites and museums in San Diego, it would be easy to fill each day with something new. Start your look into local history at the official history center website.

    San Diego City Beat: Get to know a more local San Diego by heading underground to the indie music scene, local arts culture, and music and theater events. The city beat can point you toward events and gatherings to help you get in touch with your artistic side.

    No matter where you end up in this amazing city, you’ll be sure to find plenty to keep you busy. History and culture, surfing and food, music and shopping—in terms of entertainment, San Diego has more to offer than almost any other city out there!

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  • Starting the School Year after a Move

    by Patrick Redmond | Aug 27, 2014

    Moving with childrenIf you’ve recently moved your kids to a different school district or city, their transition is going to be made more challenging as they start a new school year. There are few things scarier than facing an entire classroom of new people, especially if they haven’t yet had time to adjust to their surroundings at home.

    The best way to help your children transition is to start early. Take a few weeks before school starts up to give your kids an opportunity to meet new people and prepare for the upcoming year.

    1. Arrange for a tour. Most schools are happy to meet with new parents and students to walk you through the facilities. Make this appointment away from regular class hours so your child can familiarize him or herself with the school and ask any (potentially) embarrassing questions about the upcoming year.

    2. Ask for a handbook. Every school has a handbook of sorts—a guide to class hours, holidays, extracurricular activities, and school policies. Get your hands on one of these and read through it. Look for activities or events your child might enjoy and highlight the positive in these. You can also look for sports teams outside the school.

    3. Get out in the community. During the summer, community events for kids tend to be everywhere. Day camps, street fairs, public swimming pools, block parties—you might be unsure at the idea of getting out there and meeting people already, but it’s a good time to make the effort. Your child will appreciate having a few friendly faces in the crowd on the first day of school. (The library is also a good default option for this kind of thing, since you’re sure to find local kids roaming the shelves for their summer reading.)

    4. Make each school day special. A new outfit, a shiny pair of shoes, a note in their backpack, a promise to visit the zoo after school one day—any small thing you can do to brighten up the day is worthwhile. Give your child something to look forward to, and they’re likely to be more positive about the day as a whole.

    5. Provide opportunities. Even though you might not be ready to open your home to guests just yet or you might be feeling overwhelmed trying to make friends of your own, try to provide opportunities for your kids to mingle. Allow them to invite someone over for a special dinner or participate in neighborhood rituals to encourage socialization.

    6. Give them space and time. In your desire to see your child comfortable and settled, you might push too hard or make them feel like they’re failing at making friends fast enough. Experts suggest that getting used to a new school can take up to six weeks for younger kids (longer for teenagers), so be patient. They’ll get there.

    Above all else, be sure and listen to your child. Kids may need to talk through their anxiety or verbalize their frustrations, and constantly pushing them to accept the changes may only make the situation worse. Listen more than you talk and be sure to show your child all the love and attention they need during this difficult time.

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  • Moving to the UK: How to Prepare

    by Patrick Redmond | Aug 25, 2014

    moving to the UKMany Americans dream of living abroad, of soaking in another culture and experiencing a new way of life—but the logistics of international relocation can be difficult. The United Kingdom often appeals to U.S. citizens because of our shared language (which makes a transition seem easier), but it’s still very much a foreign country with different policies and practices.

    If you’re getting ready to pack up and start a new life across the Atlantic Ocean, here are a few things you should know first.

    > Space is limited. In the United States, we’re used to being able to spread our arms and expand our personal space. This isn’t always true in the UK and Europe. Homes are smaller, closets are sometimes nonexistent, roads are more tightly packed, and real estate costs are higher. You can almost always expect to downsize your belongings and wardrobe before you come.

    > Electricity and appliances are wired differently.
    The outlets are different in the United Kingdom, and your American appliances may not have the right voltage to work with the local infrastructure. Expect to purchase all new electronics when you arrive. (The same holds true for cars. If you’ll be driving yourself, it’s best to buy a UK car with the driver’s wheel on the right.)

    > Life is more expensive.
    Groceries cost more. Homes cost more. Taxes are higher. The exchange rate favors the UK. If you’ll be living in the UK as an expat, you’ll need to figure in the higher cost of living. If you’ll be getting a new job and emigrating as a citizen, expect to adjust your way of life to make way for a smaller amount of disposable income.

    > Private education means more.
    Moving overseas with a family means you’ll want to check out the local schools. While it’s possible to get a good education in the public system, private schools tend to carry much more weight when it comes time to enter university and land a job.

    > Over-the-counter medication may be more difficult to get.
    Because the healthcare system isn’t privatized in the UK, there are longer wait times for regular doctor visits and prescription medication. If you rely on any kind of medicine, it’s important to start working with a caregiver before you move to ensure a seamless transition.

    > Leave the firearms at home.
    When you move to the UK, you’ll need to report your belongings at customs (and maybe even pay a tax to import them). Most weapons aren’t allowed, and you’ll have to fill out special forms if you want to move a pet or specialty animal items.

    Moving abroad can be overwhelming, but remember that thousands of Americans relocate to the UK every year. This means that moving companies, expat specialists, and customs officials are used to providing assistance every step of the way. If you have any questions about moving to the United Kingdom and what steps you’ll need to take to start packing, we encourage you to contact North American Van Lines today.

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  • Five Great Things to Do In San Diego

    by Patrick Redmond | Aug 22, 2014

    Things to do in San Diego for new residentsAs one of the more popular tourist cities in Southern California, you won’t run out of things to see and do in San Diego anytime soon. From famous sites like the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld to the family-owned bistros and indie music venues tucked away on side streets, you could spend a lifetime exploring the area and still have more to discover.

    Just in case you don’t have enough to keep you busy, here are five great San Diego destinations to add to your list.

    1. Torrey Pines State Reserve: San Diego is known for its healthy lifestyle and outdoor adventures, and Torrey Pines State Reserve is a large part of that. Covered with hiking trails that run along the bluffs of the Pacific, you can enjoy the entire scope of the San Diego landscape, from pristine beaches to forested retreats. A hang gliding port (Torrey Pines Glider Port) nearby offers a little more high-adrenaline activity, if you want more than just a walk through nature.

    2. Del Mar Dog Beach: Also known as “North Beach” to locals, Del Mar Dog Beach is a perfect place to run free with your four-legged friends. A popular beach and surfing location all on its own, this dog-friendly park is open nine months of the year to all your canine companions.

    3. Seaport Village: Considered one of the best areas to go if you want shopping, dining, and entertainment all in one location, Seaport Village is a must-visit site for every San Diego tourist and new resident’s list. Because these 14 acres are on the water right next to downtown, it’s got a great location for sightseeing or merely enjoying the weather.

    4. San Diego Sand Castles: If you have kids (or if you love art and the beach), you might want to check out San Diego Sand Castles. This beachside artists offers personalized classes on sand sculpting and also often works on the beach so that spectators can sit back and watch. It makes a perfect stop on a day already spent out in the sun.

    5. San Diego Food Trucks: There’s no denying that the cuisine in San Diego is one of its biggest draws. With hundreds of fine dining and family restaurants to choose from, you’ll have a difficult time eating your way through the entire city. That’s why we recommend you start simple. Food trucks are very popular in this part of the state, and you’ll find many different delicious options all over the place. Learn what the choices are and where they’ll be at this handy online site.

    Your journey into San Diego’s many attractions is just beginning. Above all else, remember that the lifestyle here is one that encourages you to slow down, enjoy the sights, and bask in some of the best weather the United States has to offer.

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