Our recent move has been, by all accounts, really exciting. Our new place is so nice and peaceful. I’m thrilled to live by the water! But a few nights ago, as I was trying to fall asleep (something I’m notoriously terrible at), I realized that I felt a bit homesick. I couldn’t figure out why– we’re only 45 minutes from our old apartment! How lame.
But then there are the little things, you know? Where’s the nearest Trader Joes? Which Starbucks has the nicest baristas? How does this air conditioner work, anyway? Not knowing all of those little things made me feel a little bit unsettled. Like I didn’t have roots. I love the feeling of community, and I just didn’t feel that yet. (I realize that patience might not be my strongest suit… ;) ).
So, I took things into my own hands. I’ve spent the past week making this my home, and I’m happy to say that it’s working! After all, before I know it we’ll be packing up and moving somewhere else. I want to make the most of this time.
I thought I’d share a few of my tips for creating a home, just in case you’re going through something similar.
1. Unpack your favorites. Moving can feel like a flurry of furniture and boxes, but once things are a bit more in place, I always take the time to put away my books. When they’re all lined up on the shelves, the apartment feels more like my own space– no apartment would be my own without my books! This could be anything, of course– your artwork, photos of your family, or your favorite pairs of shoes.
2. Map it out. In my very first semester, I took an art class and our first assignment was to draw out a (very rough) sketch of Los Angeles. We’re talking like, the freeways, the ocean, general areas, and all of the landmarks we’d heard of. It helped so much. All of the sudden I understood what people meant when they said “West LA.” I would say that I know the geography of Los Angeles better than Seattle, mostly because it’s all laid out visually in my mind!
3. Take part in the community. Even if it’s just a free outdoor concert, spending time in the community with other people from the area really makes things feel more familiar. This weekend we rented kayaks and waved at passing paddle-boarders in the salty waves. Other ideas: farmers markets, 5-Ks, and community service.
4. Read all about it. You’re reading my blog (hey– thanks!) so you must enjoy other blogs, too, right? I love hearing from other writers in the same area! It’s fun to hear another perspective, and it’s a perfect way to learn more about the area.
5. Embrace change. Tim’s amazing at this– I lament about our old breakfast place and he says, “But there are so many new fun places to try out around here!” All I can say is, this is really such a fantastic way to look at it. A new home is the perfect time to stretch your wings and explore. :)