Flower blooming alone

3 strategies to bloom where you’re planted

Life leads you to places you would never expect to step foot. I went from growing up and living in a big city in the Los Angeles area, to a small town in Louisiana and, finally, on to a middle ground between city and mountains in Colorado.

I’ve had to adjust to many environments over the span of four years, and while it comes with its challenges, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Each place brought me something I’ll treasure forever.

In California, I found love and was able to start pursuing my career dreams. Louisiana brought me my daughter and amazing friends. While our time in Colorado has only just begun, I have a feeling the family memories we’ll create here will be special.

Blooming where you are planted is hard, but not impossible. It’ll make you stronger, more open-minded and appreciative of each place you’ve lived in.

If you’re going through a life transition,  adjusting to your new reality, in a place you are just beginning to know, it takes time. Here are some things to keep in mind for a smooth transition:

Step out of your comfort zone. 

An easy way to get to know your new community, is to get out and explore it and see what it has to offer. Go to community events, meet people who live in the area and really make it a point to soak in everything your new home has to offer.

When we were in Louisiana, there was a steady stream of opportunities to really be able to get to know the town, its culture and its people—from community gumbo cook-offs to fairs and parades. We jumped right in and attended a few events to see what it was all about. It was different, but it helped us adjust.

Be open to trying new things and immerse yourself in the culture of your community. You won’t be able to appreciate a place if you don’t go out of your way to really get to know it.

Check out events on social media or your local newspaper or magazine and attend to get a feel for what your new community is like, as well as meet new people.

Learn to appreciate each place you live in.

I never appreciated California fully until I lived in Louisiana, and I never appreciated Louisiana more until we moved to Colorado. I’m sure this is a cycle that will continue—each place has something unique to offer.

From California, I learned to value how full of life it is. In Louisiana, it was the people and relationships cultivated. And in Colorado, it’s the natural beauty of the state and all there is to do outside to soak in nature. Each place had its own thing that made it special.

So, appreciate and take advantage of it as much as you can, before life takes you on a new adventure in another direction and it’s too late.

Keep an open mind.

Moving to a new place can be daunting, but it’s essential that you keep an open mind to transition smoothly—especially when you are coming from a completely different setting.

As the land became more and more rural the closer we got to Louisiana, I had to keep an open mind—especially as a city girl. It was unfamiliar territory for me, but I was willing to give it a chance and I’m so glad I did.

We have some amazing memories to reflect on from Louisiana because we made the most of our time living there, even though it was a completely different environment than what we were used to. Now I long for a balance between city and nature. Colorado is the perfect fit.

It would have been easy to question the move in the first place. But I didn’t. I gave it a chance, and spent some very happy years in a place completely different to what I was used to.

Adjusting to a new environment can be tough. But if you put in the work, and are willing to get out there and explore, you’ll learn to love wherever you end up and have a hard time saying goodbye when it’s time to head somewhere new.

Once you truly integrate into your new community, you’ll be better for it and you’ll thrive. You just have to be willing to try.

Do Good: 

  • Visit to find The Salvation Army nearest you. 
  • Give to support the fight for good in your community.
  • Are you best suited to join the fight for good in disaster relief? Mental health? Social justice? Take our What’s Your Cause quiz and discover where you can make the biggest impact today. 
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Vivian Gatica Lopez

Vivian Gatica Lopez is a writer based in Colorado Springs, CO. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from California State University, Long Beach, and a passion for storytelling.