By Melody Warnick
Finding your spot in the world is not always the most straightforward process. Sometimes we move because of jobs or the need to be closer to family. In the process, we might not have much of a chance to ask if we feel like we belong in that place. We’re just there. Melody Warnick writes about Americans and the “lost art of staying put.”
The average American moves 11.7 times in their lifetime. In This Is Where You Belong, Warnick explores the research in place attachment, while reflecting on her own lifetime of moving. Place attachment is described as the connections we develop to place, involving our emotional and physical wellbeing. Warnick interviews “movers” and “stayers” across the country to gain insight into what makes people stay and feel fulfilled and what makes people feel disconnected. Over the course of her research Warnick develops strategies to help people feel more involved in their communities. As she moves from Austin, Texas to Blacksburg, Virginia (her family’s sixth move), Warnick experiments with some of her strategies to establish a family life when the moves and variety of place began to threaten her family’s stability and happiness.
This Is Where You Belong is a lovely journey and exploration into the art and science of what makes us feel at home. Warnick’s blend of warm-heartedness, as well as psychological and social research work to create an engaging and thought provoking read.
Reviewed by Lisa Newman