Making a home away from home

Many of us have had to make a home away from home. Whether you’ve moved for university, for a job, for someone or just to get a change of scenery, it’s not always easy to leave your home. Especially when you move far away and can’t just pop back home to be in your familiar environment, it can be difficult. Moving away from home is scary, but it’s also very brave. So if you have decided to move out, give yourself a pat on the back!

I moved away from home, to a different country, when I was 18. It was definitely a big change and it has taught me a lot. And in celebration of starting uni (for the second time lol), I thought I would share the few things that I have found made it a little easier to be far away from home.

Me laughing at my bookshelf with an empty cup while using the self-timer on my phone, which is balanced on books and a lighter – what has my life become?

Make your home “home-y”

The key to feeling at home is to enjoy the space you live in and feel comfortable in it. The easiest way to do this is by decorating. Bring things that remind you of home such as photos, pillows or little bits and bobs from your old room. I also found that making my flat cosy helped a lot. So get loads of throws and blankets and pillows and make your room or your flat really inviting and warm. I think we have about 7 throws in my flat, between 2 people – we might be slightly obsessed. But trust me when I say there is no such thing as “too many blankets”, especially when you live in Scotland!

Get to know your new surroundings

Moving to a new place can be daunting. You have to find your way around an unfamiliar town or city, have to register with a new doctor, you don’t know where anything is and you can easily get lost. Think about it this way though: there was a time when you didn’t know your surroundings back home either. You learned where everything was over the entire time you were living there. So take it slow and start adventuring. The best thing to do is bring a friend with you and just walk around without a map. You’ll discover loads of new places by doing so. Just make sure you bring your phone so you can find your way back home!

Have a routine

Routines are a great way to make you feel more at home. Make a habit out of doing your groceries at a certain time, having a favourite walk or meeting up once a week to have coffee with someone. You could also create a morning or a nighttime routine that will deepen your “relationship” with your home: have a cup of tea by the window, take a bath, light some candles, watch TV on your couch, cook a nice meal… Anything that makes you use and feel good in your space will do the trick. This will help make it feel like your home.

Find hobbies

When I first moved here, I found myself sitting at home quite a bit because I didn’t know what to do. Moving away from home is the perfect time to start finding some hobbies, or working on those you already have. If you always took dance classes back home, find some in your area! If you used to have a special café that you would go to every day, find your new favourite one here. You can also dedicate a space in your flat to your hobby: have a TV stand for your PlayStation, create a reading nook, hang your art on the wall, set up your vanity space, get a speaker to play your favourite music, etc.

Get a job

One thing that has made me feel more at home has been having a job. This ties in with the idea of having a routine. It’ll also enable you to meet new people, to discover new places and to make you feel like you belong/have a purpose in your town. Besides, earning and spending your own money on things for your flat makes it feel more like home. A job will also force you to leave the house and get around. You could try to take different paths to work to discover the area too.

Make friends

The hardest part from moving away from home for me was feeling lonely. When you move to some new place, chances are you won’t know anyone there. If you are lucky enough to move somewhere someone you know lives, definitely get in touch with them! They’ll be able to help you expand your social circle and meet loads of new people by meeting their friends or going out with them.

If you don’t have the luxury of knowing anyone, don’t worry. First and foremost though, don’t be afraid to approach people. Go up to them and introduce yourself. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but the more you do it, the easier it will get. One of the easiest ways to meet people is through clubs or work. Be friendly and approachable and you’re sure to make some friends. There will definitely be people you get on better with, and it’s them you can try to become friends with outside of the work place or club meetings. Arrange to meet for coffee for example and enjoy having made a new friend!

Stay in touch with people back home

When you move away from home, the likelihood of being homesick is quite high. And that’s the case for most people, no matter how young or old you are. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. I found that staying in touch with my friends and family helped a lot. If you can videochat them, it’ll almost feel like you’re together. You can make it habit to call someone or stay in touch every week or every month. But if you’re ever feeling homesick, don’t hesitate to pick up your phone and call someone. I can promise you that they will be delighted to hear from you because, chances are, they miss you just as much as you miss them.


Moving away from home is no easy task but I hope that these tips will make it easier for you. Let me know how old you were when you first moved on my latest instagram post! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this week’s post and thank you so much if you’ve read this far. I wish you a lovely week and I will see you next Sunday!

Yours truly,

Maeve

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