It’s an interesting thing – feeling at home. To be fair, this feeling of home can be more than one place for many. Myself included. Home isn’t always a place. Perhaps it’s a feeling. A state of mind. A feeling that puts you at ease, but you can’t explain why. In my various musings, I’ve spoken many times about places that invoke this feeling of home. It often has to do with simply being happy to do nothing but squander the day away. How many times have you been in a place that you were content to simply enjoy being there and to have a lazy day?
Some say that certain cities and towns are said to have a pull that’s hard to ignore. That they have a strong ability to have you feeling at home. Many lists of this kind that I’ve read mention the charming little towns in the countryside or the seaside. It isn’t often that I find a large city. Unless it’s Paris. Paris is always a good idea.
Me? I’m a city girl through and through. I love the chaos of rush hour and the winding little alleyways that lead to who-knows-where. Coffee shops that are tucked away on the mews, hidden away from plain sight are my gold mines. It’s because of this, that I often find myself disagreeing with many of these lists that claim to have you “feeling at home by the time you reach the bottom”. No. You’re missing the cities that make your heart race.
These lists are missing the places that inspire the minds of many. The cities where countless people have fallen in love, and where many still will. The places of heart-break, second guessing, intrigue and thrilling pleasure. Because of this – I’ve decided to make my own list. Let’s dig in, shall we?
THE JOY OF THE LAZY DAY
It can be as simple as the perfect lazy day. Sometimes that’s all it takes to fall in love with a city or small town. Whether that’s spending the day in the garden, finding a hidden café away from the hustle and bustle or walking about without a destination in mind.
Waking up to the sun. You stretch and pull the duvet up round your shoulders. Wrap yourself in a robe and slowly ready yourself for the day to your favourite playlist and the sound of birds singing in the early morning sun. Taking a walk to your local coffee shop with a good book or the latest edition of Vogue (my personal favourite).
Sounds nice, right?
Maybe your perfect lazy day is different than mine. Odds are, it probably is. However, I’m willing to bet that the place that feels most like home to you is a place in which having a lazy day is the most satisfying thing in the world. If not – try it out. Let me know what you think.
THE PLACE WHERE WE FELL IN LOVE
It’s a funny thing, falling in love. We use the word almost daily – we love this food, those shoes, that hairstyle. But what about falling head over heels? For a place. A person. The sweet little apartment on the quiet residential street. Feeling at home can go hand in hand with the places in which we first experienced falling in love. These are places that without them, or faced with suddenly losing them, makes you feel sick. I can relate.
What is it that makes you fall in love? Is it comfort? Security? Pleasure? Happiness? Beauty? I’m noticing a trend here. Many of the things that are characteristics of the people we fall in love with are also characteristics of the places we fall in love with. Ultimately it creates this sense of feeling at home.
Take your home for example. You fill it with things you love because they provide comfort and pleasure to you. They may bring a smile to your face, seeing them after a trip away. Maybe they remind you of someone that you love. A place can be a collection of memories. These memories are what tie you there. It’s an unintentional bond that can prove quite difficult to break.
THE LUXURY OF AWE-INSPIRING PASSION
Passion is something that I live my life by. I choose to surround myself with things and people that inspire passion.
There are certain cities that have this ability to inspire just by inviting people to walk its streets every day. Romantics in Paris can attest to this. People in London emulate this when they take to the streets like they’re walking the runway of dreams. Vienna inspires the old-world charm that many still yearn for. Los Angeles is for the dreamers. New York is for those willing to sacrifice anything to make their wildest fantasies a reality.
The common theme here?
People will gravitate to the places in which they feel passionate about something. They’re inspired. Feeling at home goes hand in hand. Clearly, this feeling of home goes hand in hand with the places that inspire passion within me. Personally, I couldn’t settle somewhere in which I felt nothing. No inspiration, no creativity. It’s something I need almost as badly as I need to breathe.
A bit dramatic, perhaps. But it’s true. Creativity is vital. In my life and for many others. I refuse to live without it.
FEELING AT HOME BECOMES INSTANTLY RECOGNIZABLE
What happens when the cards are dealt perfectly, the stars align, and you find a place that ticks every box you’ve ever drawn? You begin to feel at home. This feeling becomes something you crave in every new place you visit. If you don’t experience it, you’re excited to get back to where you can. If you do, the new place becomes hard to leave.
I want to challenge you to make a list of the things that you deem essential to create that sense of feeling at home. Is it a long list or a short one? I feel as though my list becomes more tailored with every new place I visit. Maybe it’s because I know which aspects of a new place draw me in. The curiosity peaks, the intrigue, the passion-invoking, heart-wrenching, memories that leave you craving a city more than your favourite dessert.
Whether your list is short or long, I’d like to hear what makes it. Feel like sharing? Drop your list in the comments, I’d love to read it!
Until next, xoxo.
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