This is a photo of one corner of our third temporary accommodation since August.
To read more about that adventure you may like to read this and this?
Throughout our unsettling period of displacement enroute to New Zealand, Superman and I have found it vital, for our mental health, to figure out what makes a place feel like home.
And then to create that for ourselves at each one of our temporary accommodations.
What makes a place feel like home?
Is it the building, the surrounding area and its community, the stuff inside the building or what?
To keep our souls together during this unsettling time, Superman and I have found it vital to figure that out.
In trying to magically get back there, Dorothy famously and emphatically stated: There’s no place like home.
But why is that?
What are the elements that make home like no other place?
It’s helpful to realise these elements for yourself now because often we don’t know what we have until it’s gone. And while we have them, wouldn’t it be so nice to show our gratitude for and celebrate the elements that make a place feel like home to us?
With all our precious things in a shipping container, somewhere in southeast Melbourne, and living week to week in Airbnbs, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to discern what makes a place feel like home. For the sake of my mental health, I’ve actually put significant effort into making each of our temporary accommodations feel like home and this is what I have found makes a place feel like home to me.
1. The people
For me, home is where Superman is.
Simple as that.
He’s my family and my soul mate and I could (and have!) live in a tent and have it feel like home – as long as he is there.
Who are the people who are your home?
Home is where the heart is
2. Cosy bed and nice linen
Sound sleep has been vital to our health over this period.
And as you can imagine, it’s also been hard to come by at times – what with so much of the fundamentals of life up in the air. But the one thing that really has helped us feel safe and secure, at a time when lots of signs were saying we weren’t, has been a cosy bed and nice linen.
We even had to buy some to live in the place we’re in now.
Instead of going to Kmart and buying a cheap set to give to charity after we leave, as was suggested to me a few times, I spent good money and bought nice linen. The bed and pillows here are okay, but our linen is amazing!
We spent the first week here cleaning the old shack, but each night we nestled into a safe and cosy nest and blessedly – it felt like home.
It’s restorative – good linen.
If ever your world is falling down around you, remember there is something magical that stitches your soul back together when you snuggle down each night in a cosy bed and nice linen. I recommend making it a priority.
3. Nice smells
As an Aromatherapist, this is a no brainer for me.
But little did I realise just how powerfully reassuring and comforting smelling the familiar smells of home would be until we discovered an Essential Oil diffuser at our first temporary accommodation.
You see, our home would usually have four sources of Aromatherapy going at once:
- In the bedroom for refreshing of a morning and sleepy time at night
- The spare room (our home office for the last two years’ of Lockdown in Melbourne) for mental acuity and calm
- One in the living room for sweet, chilled vibes of an evening
- And one at the front door – we always enjoyed a deep breath and a sigh upon arriving home
Over the last two years of Covid19, all had been pumping out my anti-viral blend too!
I ordered a small travel diffuser for the rest of our journey immediately! And will never travel without one again – unless I am camping.
Superman asked me last night why I have a candle burning in our bedroom when we aren’t in it. And the answer is that I have found both the kind of light and the energy of a wee candle flame is deeply effective in making a place feel like home.
I cannot explain it, but I don’t have to because others have said it best; those poets and songwriters who speak of leaving a light on for me or a candle in the window or one to guide them home when out at sea, all know at a soul level the immense power of one tiny little light in the darkness.
To me a candle flame is a warming and bright symbol of resilience, simplicity, honesty and trust.
My little candle lights whisper to me: hold on, hang in there, you aren’t alone.
5. Fresh flowers and/or plants
We are natural beings, made of the same stuff as flowers and plants.
We feel better being around them. Much better than how we feel around concrete and plastic.
It never ceases to amaze me how many modern Western humans fill their block with a concrete and plastic Mc Mansion and wonder why they don’t feel so great, why the kids do anxiety.
We aren’t square and concrete, we are soft and round and organic.
That’s why we feel at home in natural, organic places.
Even though I am super grateful to the place we had at Docklands on the edge of the Melbourne CBD, the lack of organic matter there sucked me dry by the end. The cut flowers I always bought helped alleviate the concrete-ness, but it wasn’t enough. As I sit writing this, I now look out on green grass, native trees in flower with mad Aussie birds feeding on them and my nose is filled with the exotic scent of the Asiatic Lillies on the table in front of me.
And I am happy.
This place feels like home.
And only after four weeks. Amazing!
It’s easy when you know what makes a place feel like home to you.
Have a look around your place, have a ponder and let me know what you discover about yourself, your place and your feeling of home.
Let me know – I am always interested.
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