This is Where You Belong
Score: 4/5 Bookmarks
Having moved almost every two years for the past 15 years, and with a recent move across the country to Seattle (where we know no-one) leaving me feeling disconnected and homesick, this book couldn't have fallen into my lap at a more perfect time.
This is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving Where You Live, by Melody Warnick is a great story of her own personal experience as well as being loaded up with practical tips for feeling more connected to the place you find yourself. As a result of reading her book I'm already taking positive steps to help myself fall in love with Seattle sooner.
The average restless American will move 11.7 times in a lifetime. For Melody Warnick, it was move #6, from Austin, Texas, to Blacksburg, Virginia, that threatened to unhinge her. In the lonely aftermath of unpacking, she wondered: Aren’t we supposed to put down roots at some point? How does where we live become the place where we want to stay? This time, she had an epiphany. Rather than hold her breath and hope this new town would be her family’s perfect fit, she would figure out how to fall in love with it—no matter what.
How we come to feel at home in our towns and cities is what Warnick sets out to discover in This Is Where You Belong. She dives into the body of research around place attachment—the deep sense of connection that binds some of us to our cities and increases our physical and emotional well-being—then travels to towns across America to see it in action. Inspired by a growing movement of placemaking, she examines what its practitioners are doing to create likeable locales. She also speaks with frequent movers and loyal stayers around the country to learn what draws highly mobile Americans to a new city, and what makes us stay. The best ideas she imports to her adopted hometown of Blacksburg for a series of Love Where You Live experiments designed to make her feel more locally connected. Dining with her neighbors. Shopping Small Business Saturday. Marching in the town Christmas parade.
Can these efforts make a halfhearted resident happier? Will Blacksburg be the place where she finally stays? What Warnick learns will inspire you to embrace your own community—and perhaps discover that the place where you live right now is home.