Loving the Place You Live

Do you love your community? What do you love about it?

Is it the close-knit relationships you have with neighbors and store owners? Maybe it’s the fact that your commute is only five minutes even when you walk or bike to work. Is it the local dining, natural resources or opportunities that are available for you and your family?

A strong sense of place attachment – having a rooted, affectionate, “this is home” feeling when you roll into town – is more than just an emotion or belief. It also includes action and behavior – being activity engaged and invested in your community.

Restless and frequent relocator, Melody Warnick, identified ten basic place attachment behaviors to fulfill her deep desire to truly love where she lived after her sixth move to a new city. She outlines these ten behaviors in her book, This Is Where You Belong: The Art & Science of Loving the Place You Live.

— Walk more.
— Buy local.
— Get to know your neighbors.
— Do fun stuff.
— Explore nature.
— Volunteer.
— Eat local.
— Become more political.
— Create something new.
— Stay local through hard times.

To whatever degree you love and feel attached to your community, actively engaging with the people, places and offerings where you live will help elevate not only your love for your community but your sense of appreciation and fulfillment as well.

My challenge for you – start with one of the behaviors listed above that’s most intriguing to you. Take your actions in that area to the next level.

Maybe you currently walk the same route to work each day but how often to you walk the side streets and trails in town? Maybe you always buy your groceries and household goods locally but when was the last time you browsed the locally owned boutiques? Maybe you currently follow a few local non-profit organizations on social media but have you considered attending their events or volunteering to help support their cause?

If you want stories, examples and inspiration for each of these placemaking behaviors, I highly recommend digging into Warnick’s memoir-style book.

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