Finding Your Home "Soul Mate"
"For most of us, the type of setting we live in
is as important or more important
than the type of house."
Claire Cooper Marcus
I have moved almost 30 times in my lifetime. I have lived in Iowa, North Dakota, Minnesota, Arizona, California, and Florida. I've also temporarily lived in places like Alaska and France.
And I have loved every place I have lived.
I love moving.
I love packing and unpacking.
Most of all, I love the adventure of exploring a new environment.
And in all those moves, I have learned a thing or two about what can make a move delightful, especially if you are looking for a place that makes you feel like you've found your home soul mate.
For me, I have discovered that my soul really thrives in the desert. And for a girl who grew up on the prairie, who would have guessed it?
I also really love being in the woods near lakes... Minnesota has 10,000 or so lakes, and I'm happiest when I'm hiking one of the hundreds of miles of woods trails or walking around one of the lakes.
A number of my clients have recently made major moves across the country, and one of the questions that often comes up is "how do we choose a good place to live?"
Love that question!
And, it's a big question that can often bring up pressure, fear of making a mistake, and confusion.
It's often simpler if we break it down into smaller, easier-to-answer questions that take us gently in the back door, like:
- How do you want to feel in your neighborhood? Do you want to be on a first-name basis with your neighbors (the kind where you could pop over at any time to borrow a cup of sugar), or do you prefer being more private or anonymous? What kind of neighbors would you like to have?
- What kinds of services, entertainments, or shops do you want easy access to? Do you want to be able to walk to them, ride public transportation, or drive yourself?
- What kind of weather/seasons/climate does your body and soul prefer?
- What kind of nature are you drawn to? Mountains? Lakes, oceans, desert, prairie, open sky, lots of land, other?
- Do you prefer a sophisticated lifestyle? Casual? What kinds of things represent the lifestyle you most want?
- Coffee shops, out-of-the-way restaurants? Big chain stores? High end boutiques?
- Do you prefer urban life? Being in the big city? Life in a small town? A small town feel in a big city?
- Do you want a family area? Trendy? Quiet? Bustling? University nearby? Religious or spiritual community? Good libraries? Easy public transportation? Near a major airport?
- What else do you want to experience close to home?
- Do you want places to walk? Hike? Places to take dogs or children?
So if you are planning a big move, I suggest you start by going to a quiet place, like your favorite coffee shop, and sit down with your journal. Write out your responses to these questions. See what else pops into your mind. Follow your intuition.
Once you know what your heart is longing for, it can be much easier to make a big decision about a move... and find an environment where you feel completely at home.