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31 October 2015

Feeling Home Anywhere in the World

After having moved to a new country for the third time in my life, I can definitely say that I have worked hard on how to achieve a feeling of 'inner settlement'. This doesn't mean I'm done with it; not at all. I feel like I still need to learn how to feel home when travelling and living abroad, and that there are many other (new) 'techniques' that I can still pick up in order to be a stronger and empowered individual.
I could have called this blog post 'How to feel home anywhere in the world', but that wouldn't have been fair. Everyone has different ways to achieve their own homelike feeling and I certainly have no key to everyone's success in such a purpose. However, I can try and help :)

What does feeling home mean? I think that feeling home means feeling a sense of inner peace; being content in the place where you are and accepting of the atmosphere you're surrounded by. (At least, this is how I think of it away from home. My definition could change in that case..).

To me, this translates into being mindful, which means being active and aware of the present moment in a way that can lead you to well-being. To achieve that, I practice mindfulness through meditation, yoga, dancing, reading and writing. In other words, I do what I love! I can say this because when doing such activities I let go of my negative feelings and just feel happier. These could be different things to you; you might like cooking, practicing sports or listening to music with your eyes closed. Everyone has got different things that make them happy, and the key to create your own homely sphere is finding what suits you best, and do more of that so you maintain you balance.

I know it's very hard to stick to it, but I believe that the best way to do this is establishing a weekly routine. And I believe that this suggestion could apply to anyone, because stability is vital in order to feel settled. As an example, every week, my Monday yoga class helps me get in the right mindset for the week ahead; it's also a detox from the weekend and an empowering exercise class. I know that I need it, not just because it makes me feel good, but because it's a point of reference that will make me feel stronger and more balanced - just like at home.

I also help myself feel at home by making my bedroom a cozy and welcoming space. When living away from home, your bedroom is most likely to be your little haven, and you want to make it as comfy as possible. To do that, I decorate my room with posters of things I like (I've  always got a colorful world map that reminds me of my passion for travel and some postcards of my latest trips), lighting up candles at night and adding fairy lights. I also try and keep it as clean and tidy as possible because tidy room, tidy mind. I love coming back home after a long day at university and managing to enter my bedroom and instantly feel safe and relaxed.

By talking about bedroom as a safe place, I don't mean you should stay inside all the time! Get out and explore the new place where you live or that you're visiting so that you can feel more comfortable with it. I like to go for walks and visit art sites, but there's a lot of other things one can do. Spending time in nature is perhaps my favourite outdoors activity to do. In my first two months in Valencia I spent a lot of time at the beach, which definitely made me feel at home; not because I usually leave near the sea, but because the voice of the sea speaks to the soul (Kate Chopin).

Another thing to do that could bring you back home is making home food. You know those meals that taste so much like home and that you miss immensely? (I know the feeling). Spend some of your time to cook some of those dishes and you'll instantly feel great. I'm not a huge fan of cooking, so basically most of the food that I cook is the simplified version of what I would have at home. But maybe you're a pro at cooking and can do more!

And finally, my usual advice when it comes to everything in life: put yourself in the right mindset! If you embrace your vulnerability, the fact that your persona is being exposed by being away from home, but that you are willing to be open and positive about it, you will achieve great things! Once you accept your new home as your real home, you will be able to get out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons, be that your wanderlust, your professional growth or other types of life challenges. In my case, it's all about opening up to new cultures, languages and people; the main way I try and maintain a positive attitude is by keeping a gratefulness journal, besides the first point I made about being mindful.

So, wherever you are in the world, I hope that my advice was useful to you. My ultimate suggestion, is find what is good for you. I shared my own tips, but people may have different ideas or suggestions to feel home anywhere. Please feel free to share your tips in the comments and have a great day :)

9 comments:

  1. Some great advice! What a great opportunity to be able to move country so many times!!

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    1. Thanks Hannah! :) Yeah it's amazing to live in Europe and be able to move around :)

      Assia | www.assiashahin.com

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  2. I agree with you about what being at homes means for sure, it needs to be your place, somewhere you feel you belong, calm and relaxed x

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    1. Definitely, and feeling good at home is the key to feel good outside! Thanks for your kind words xx

      Assia | www.assiashahin.com

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  3. I know it's not the same as moving to a new country, but when I moved out of my family home and went to live at uni putting my own mark on my bedroom really helped me to feel less anxious and more at peace too. Some great tips!

    Roxie | The Beautiful Bluebird

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    1. Yeah, that's exactly what I thought of when I wrote this post. When I moved to halls in Bristol I immediately decorated my room so it looked cozy and it made a huge difference. I guess that's not moving to a new country, but it's still moving out of home, which is kind of a similar feeling at first. Thanks for your kind words xx

      Assia | www.assiashahin.com

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  4. What a nice post, Assia! :) I knew you did lots of travelling but didn't realize you've lived in three countries so far! Amazing! I say if you have the opportunity to do it - go for it.
    Please keep sharing your adventures and everything you're learning along the way :)

    ~Lor @ cozycomfyhome.com

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    1. Thanks Lor... you're always so kind! Yes, I love traveling and living abroad and I hope to be able to make new experiences after my degree! I will definitely keep sharing my life updates, thank you so so so much for following my blog <3

      Assia | www.assiashahin.com

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