This is where you belong is a well-researched book by Melody Warnick. It’s about achieving a sense of belonging to the town where you live. It’s especially relevant if you have recently moved or are considering a move. The data was interesting and informative, but the best part of the book was Melody’s personal experiences.

Melody writes about her struggle to feel at home in Blacksburg, Virginia after moving there from Austin, Texas. Melody has moved often, mostly for career opportunities, and found it difficult to feel settled in Blacksburg. So she set out on a journey of discovery, through research and interviews, to find out what makes a place feel like home. Through this process, Melody comes up with ten suggestions to “love where you live.” Melody tested each of these suggestions with her own experiments. She has varying degrees of success and commitment to the challenges she sets herself. I enjoyed Melody’s honesty as she explored this process. By the end of the book, Melody feels at home in Blacksburg. She also realises if she does move again, she is better equipped to resettle.

Having moved a lot myself, I have done many of the things Melody suggests, yet I haven’t been as intentional as Melody. If I move again, I will be more purposeful about making my new town feel like home.

The ten suggestions are: walk or cycle in your town, buy locally, get to know your neighbours, go to fun events, explore nature in your area, volunteer, eat locally particularly at the same places, learn the politics/history of your town, create an event and remain loyal through the hard times.

A helpful read.