“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home…” Many will instantly recognize the wishful sentence that Dorothy voiced while tapping her glittery, red-clad heels in order to depart from the Land of Oz. While Oz was full of dazzling, frightening creatures and beautiful places, Dorothy wanted to return home to Kansas. She missed her family and the familiarity with the place she considered home.
While the farm of her childhood may have seemed mediocre, it provided Dorothy with activities poles apart from those of Oz. Although Dorothy’s visit to Oz wasn’t a vacation, the difference in scenery likely added to her longing for home. Similarly, after the excitement of vacation, returning home is a relief. The presence of community, outdoors activities, culture (music, art, theatre), history, and political/social acceptance all contribute to the development of warmth towards a current locality.
Relocating to an unfamiliar city or neighborhood may leave you feeling far from home. If you haven’t moved, there is a possibility that even the most enjoyable activities may become commonplace after a period of time. Here are some ideas on just how to foster or rekindle affection for your current place of residence.
Humans crave social interaction and may experience loneliness, if deprived of it. There is no comparison for the associates who are part of our community. Accordingly, changes to personal interests may lead to seeking a new one and doing so is often difficult. The specific people who make up your people may be part of a running crew, a group of readers who love to drink while discussing books, or inside a guild in the video game you play. It takes time and effort to find those who are YOUR people. Look for them. It’s likely they are searching for you, too.
Ideas of where to meet new people who share your interests: www.meetup.com, Facebook groups, message boards at the library or coffee shop, or classes at your local university.
A person, exposed to nature and outdoors activities, displays improved mental health function in numerous research studies. Outdoor activities may require creative thinking during rainy or cold weather. When feasible, walk barefoot in the grass while enjoying the sunshine and Vitamin D. Stepping away from normal activities is refreshing and grounding. During a cool summer rain shower, playfully dance in the rain. If the weather has gotten cooler, dress warmly and build a small campfire (if legal) in the backyard while drinking hot chocolate. In addition, to find the wild side of your city, meander down a park trail, visit the zoo and observe the animals, or stop and smell the flowers at a botanical garden.
Ideas of ways to find outdoor activities: Web search “outdoors activities near me”, call or visit local parks, and www.activeoutdoors.info.
Cultural activities are available in all shapes and sizes. A trip to a local museum, whether it is an art, history, or science museum, is a spectacular way to get your culture fix. If a production company is local, make time to enjoy a play or musical. Look into productions at local high schools and support the development of culture in young people. Keep an ear out for free or low cost adventures in your local city or create your own cultural experiences to develop your creativity. Whether it’s a group-painting project, an open mic night, or walking around a local gallery, the cultural experiences are never too far away.
Ideas of ways to find cultural activities: Contact your local library or visitor center, check with local coffee shops or universities, or search online for activities near you.
Many of the oldest cities in the United States are tourist hotspots. Many find delving into the history of our ancestors, both educational and enjoyable. Therefore, devote time to research historical cemeteries, buildings, or even antique stores to explore nearby. One of my favorite things to do is search for beautiful, aged trees in public areas. There is nothing quite like standing next to one of them in awe of the many hundreds of years it has supported life. You can, also, visit known historical spots in your city for additional ideas of where to go and what to see.
Ideas of ways to find historical locations: Check with your local historical society, the local library, or a web search for history to discover near you.
Acceptance within our social communities is instrumental to feeling welcomed and at home. Each person has their own opinions on social issues, government, and life as a whole. While having political or social discussions with a person who believes differently is wonderful for learning a new perspective, there is nothing like rallying with another believer, discussions on who to vote for, or lunch with a friend who is willing to understand why you feel the way you do, even if they disagree. Similarly, being welcomed exactly as you are is part of locating your community!
Ideas to find political and social affiliations: Town meetings, religious meeting places, and social networks can all be a source.
Over the past five years, I have developed an appreciation for the home base I have chosen in North Carolina. Develop your love of home with the ideas mentioned above. By venturing over new horizons, we grow and that flexibility never loses its value. Do you have any other ideas on how to find community, outdoor activities, culture, historical adventures, or acceptance? Please share below and let’s contribute to creating and building these categories in the places we call HOME.