I grew up in Southern California. Summertime is my jam. Especially this summer, which involved me going on an Alaskan cruise, thereby hitting #48 in my quest to visit all 50 states. (Only Connecticut and Rhode Island to go!)
I also managed to fall a little bit in love with Victoria, Canada. This happens a lot, lured as I am by the dreamy otherness of new places, with their totally different landscapes and climates and their lack of my daily grind.
It’s hard to see your own place like a visitor would. You know it too well. But one of the items on the place attachment measure is, “I like to tell people about where I live.” The truly attached act as ambassadors for their towns, and out-of-town guests are a litmus test. What do you say to them about your place? What do you take them to see while they’re here? Where do you go out to eat? If you have 10 things you can show off to visitors, you’ll feel better about your hometown. So here’s a Love Where You Live challenge: Find your 10 things.
7 items of interest
1. “My theory is that cities don’t make us happy. We make ourselves happy in our cities.” The famous Richard Florida interviewed me for CityLab.
2. Austin Kleon’s advice on where to live: “Stay out of debt, live somewhere cheap, make something happen.”
3. Check out this cool map of America’s quietest places, anecdotally confirmed by my drives across the vast empty wilderness that is southern Wyoming.
4. “Sometimes you don’t need to get the hell out of Dodge—you just need to get to know it a little bit better.” My piece on not hating your town for Quartz.
5. Angela Duckworth’s advice for graduates—move toward what interests you, seek purpose, finish strong—could also apply to how you relate to your place.
6. If you’re local, I’ll be speaking at the Roanoke CityWorks (X)po in October. It is a party. Come join us! A bunch of other upcoming events are listed on my website.
7. Downloadable book club questions are on the website. A professor at Virginia Tech made her class answer some of them and proclaimed them “very deep.” Perfect for the smarties at your reading group. Email me if you’d like me to chime in by Skype.