How to Feel At Home Anywhere
What does it mean to you to “feel at home?”
Is it a specific country? City? Neighborhood? House? Apartment? School? Person?
The idea of being able to “feel at home” has been a life-long interest to me, since I’ve changed dwellings (and sometimes cities, states, and even countries) every 2-3 years for nearly my entire 35 years of life.
Ultimately, my idea of what it means to “feel at home” is this: feeling a sense of relaxation, comfort, and belonging – an overall sense of acceptance.
While I know there are some places you may call “home,” I don’t think feeling at home requires a specific destination – it’s a feeling that can be recreated, rather vividly, given the right context.
Being around certain people, or in certain buildings, or certain cities makes me “feel at home,” but what’s really happening?
That person, that place – it allows me to relax, giving me a sense of comfort and belonging.
If that’s the context for being able to “feel at home,” then no matter where you go in the world (#digitalnomad), you truly can bring home with you!
As fellow writer Victoria Gigante shares, the first step to feeling relaxed + comfortable is to feel SAFE.
Feeling safe is an internal + external need that must be met before I can ever feel a sense of home.
Thanks to the advent of technology, that’s easier than ever before!
Online reviews, Google Maps tours of local neighborhoods, and candid photos – you can get an overall sense of a place before you ever step foot there.
Of course, nothing replaces the “sensation” of being there. You can’t 100% get the “feel” for a place without being there in the flesh, but technology has given us a nice head start.
There’s also something to be said for having the safety + security of knowing you can defend yourself if you needed to.
Not a fun subject, I know, but it’s true!
Friend + former client of mine, Gwen Elliot, put a great post on Instagram about how her self-defense classes have been a key element of giving her more confidence to travel solo more often.
You see the rabbit hole we dive down, no?
You’ll never feel truly relaxed, comfortable, or any sense of belonging in ANY physical place with ANY person UNLESS you feel that within yourself first.
Many of us mistake a sense of familiarity with a sense of home.
Just because you’re used to something doesn’t mean it truly makes you feel relaxed and comfortable – it’s merely familiar.
I used to be very familiar with my depression + anxiety – it was a key part of my victimhood story.
It’s taken me years to peel away the belief that being depressed was good for me, or that it was “what I deserve,” or “who I am.”
What does this all boil down to?
Being able to “feel at home” starts with safety, and true safety starts from within.
Sometimes, that means putting yourself first + moving away (mentally, emotionally, + physically) from certain family members, friends, lovers, or locations.
On the other side of any change, there is a new version of you.
You don’t know who that person is yet, or how safe they will feel.
It’s scary, it’s intimidating – and that’s enough to keep countless people from “doing the work” to truly “feel at home” within themselves.
Your attachment to a location is a choice, and it’s probably holding you back.
You can “feel at home” ANYWHERE, but that means you’ll need to do more inner work before you buy your next plane ticket (calling myself out here too!).