In the spirit of Gretchen Rubin’s megaseller The Happiness Project and Eric Weiner’s The Geography of Bliss, a journalist embarks on a project to discover what it takes to love where you live
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 the place we live become the place 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 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.
From the Hardcover edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
When I saw this book had only 2 reviews I felt I had to speak up. I don't write reviews on books even though reading is practically my religion for the simple reason that I feel my voice doesn't really add to the conversation. When power house books like All the Light We Cannot See is getting 23, 752 reviews and counting I feel like a drop in the ocean. I'll just keep reading and keep my opinions to myself (or to close friends).
What changed was that this unique book fell into my hands at the right time. In less than 3 months I'm leaving my home state with my husband, dog, and all our worldly possessions to cross mountains, desert, and snow (all of which this Houston, TX girl has never seen in her 28 years) on my husbands 30th birthday because we are chasing a dream of the grass is greener WAY on the other side. Vancouver, WA might turn out to be a huge disappointment but that craving for a fresh start has promoted us to hit the reset button and start life anew in another...
This book has helped me understand why I hate living in the terrible Sacramento Valley and what to do about improving my outlook. Stuck here by circumstances and unable to move away by the same circumstance this book is a good guide how to help improve not only the town where I live but my attitude as well. Except of course when it's 115 in the shade.
Editing review: After reading this book and implementing some of Melody's suggestions, my attitude has indeed improved. Both my wife ( who somehow enjoys this dreary place) and I set out to explore the small businesses, eateries, local stores, farm stands, farmers markets etc.. In addition to my volunteer work at a local museum, we take cooking lessons at our local Olive store. My wife continues to enjoy art classes at our lodge. We are busy. It's still a major challenge to put up with the heat in the summer. No inexpensive cure for that.
When everyone is talking about finding the right place to live, this book is a refreshing look about how to fall in love with just about any place you find yourself. Lots of compelling checklists about buying local, volunteering, getting involved in politics, and finding happiness in your surroundings. I particularly love the author's Love Where You Live Principles list in the back of the book. The whole book seems aimed at helping the reader accomplish #11: "Experience joy for as long as you're there."
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