This is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick

  • How much Iā€™d Recommend: 8/10
  • Date finished: 7/19/20
  • This is Where You Belong: recommend either borrow from the library or read my notes below

It is a lovely book full of ideas. I did not read through every single page. Behind every chapter, there is a list of activities you can do to feel more settled down and here they are below. I have also added some items I found helpful. I am never one to promote consumerism or spending money for the sake of some higher cause, so even though some of the tips below mentioned spending money, I’d say do the free stuff first and see how you feel šŸ™‚

  1. Lace Up Your Sneakers
    • Follow the “1-mile solution” and walk / bike to all your errands under a mile
    • Explore unfamiliar parts of your town without a GPS.
    • Draw a map of your part of town and see how many details you can fill in
    • Sign up for a local walking tour
    • Switch to a walking or biking commute
    • If you’re moving soon, aim for a neighborhood with a high Walk Score.
    • Make your own Walk [your city] signs at WalkYourCity.org
  2. Buy Local
    • Find the one item that you can commit to buying from a locally owned business, then stick with it.
    • Before you decide that buying local costs too much, consider the unexpected benefits, like advice, free gift wrapping, or tie-in promos that support other local organizations.
    • Invest locally.
    • Other ones I can think of: buy local gifts when you visit friends/travel, and kind words to local shops always go a long way.
  3. Say Hi to Your Neighbors
    • Celebrate National Good Neighbor Day
    • Join a Newcomers Club
    • Meetup.com
    • Keep a spreadsheet of the people you meet on your block: names, kids preferences, where they work, what they do.
    • Welcome anyone who moves into a house that you can see from your front porch. At least say hi.
    • Eat a meal with your neighbors
    • Join your neighborhood association, your block club, or your HOA.
    • Offer to house-sit or pet-sit when neighbors go out of town.
    • Throw a block party.
    • Other things I do: share my home-grown vegetables, extra candy from Halloween, and other tools with my neighbors. Ask for help when you need it, people love to feel needed.
  4. Do Something Fun
    • What ten local sites, historic landmarks, tourist attractions, parks, museums, statues, or events can you show off to visitors?
    • Find out what’s going on in your town.
    • Asking people “where do you take visitors?”
    • Do the stuff your town is good at.
    • Annual festivals
    • Make your own asset map with Google’s My Maps to remind yourself of how much your town has to offer and to plan outings for yourself and visitors.
    • Show up.
    • Other things I do:
  5. Commune with Nature
    • Make a list of your town’s natural assets
    • Learn the names of the flora and fauna in your area
    • Find ways to do the outdoorsy things you love where you live
    • Invite friends for a hike
    • Go Geocaching or letterboxing
    • Pick up litter, buy low-energy fluorescent lightbulbs, recycling, air-dry laundry
    • Other things I recommend:
      • Find state parks to camp
      • Explore more interesting places to visit by scrolling through google maps
  6. Volunteer
    • Volunteer at a place you are passionate about, be it your church, local SPCA, women’s shelter
    • Check the city’s website for government volunteering
    • Perform random acts of kindness, either on a special day like your birthday or a day you’re bored. RandomActsofKindness.org lists dozens of ideas. TheBDayProject.com.
    • Donate – I donate to my local children’s shelter bc I am petite šŸ™‚
    • Join or start a giving circle
    • Other things I thought about:
      • Donate locally (women’s shelter, children’s shelter, etc.) instead of to Salvation Army
      • Find free items to share on Facebook; they are called buy nothing [your city]
      • Volunteer to get your elderly neighbor’s groceries
      • Find the local chapter of AMillionCups.com to support local start-up businesses
  7. Eat Local Food
    • Try strEATing, the practice of turning an average street or public place into a quick, cheap social eatery.
    • Make dinner into a mini block party by eating on your front lawn
    • Find a place in your town to be a regular
    • Shop regularly at your farmer’s market or join a CSA. LocalHarvest.org keeps a database of them.
    • Try a one-week “25-mile challenge,” eating only foods grown within twenty-five miles of your house.
    • Plant a garden
    • Follow local restaurants on social media
  8. Get More Political
    • Follow your mayor and city councilors on social media
    • Figure out when your next election is and vote.
    • Join your local citizens’ academy
    • Keep up-to-date on what’s happening in local government (+ restaurants, volunteer opportunities, and a place attachment bonanza of additional information)
    • If you have coding skills, join a Code for America brigade where you live, or sign up for a one-off civic hackathon. HackForChange.org
    • Run for an elected town office
    • Download and use civic apps for your town
    • If there’s something in your place that’s driving you nuts – a pothole, a broken light-go on your city’s website and figure out who can help you get it fixed. If there is something in town you love, write about it too.
  9. Create Something
    • Find out what art events are happening in your neighborhood – concerts, dance shows, festivals, guys with guitars playing at the back of a coffee house on Friday night – and show up to as many as you can afford, even if it’s not typically your thing.
    • Throw a few bucks in the case whenever you see a busker in your town.
    • Gather friends for an adventure and make something silly and creative happen in your neighborhood. Write inspirational quotes on sidewalks, set up a good-luck stand, and pass out homemade fortunes, impromptu singing, dancing, and befriending.
    • Write a love letter to your town, explaining all the things you adore about it
    • Tour all public art in your town, including murals, statues, and sculptures. If there isn’t one, consider making a digital guide to them with an app like Tour Buddy.

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