When you come to the end of a long journey, whether it’s a holiday or a work-related trip, you want your home to feel welcoming and safe. The inevitable truth for many people, though, is that it doesn’t, especially if the stay has been weeks or maybe even months (it does happen). Your home can feel just as alien to you as the hotels you’ve stayed in while on the trip, and you’re not to blame for that – it’s been a long time, after all.
Luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case. When you first return home, it’s going to feel alien, but there are plenty of things you can do when you get back to start making the place feel like yours again. Here are our top tips for making a house feel like home again after travelling.
Change your furniture
It might sound strange, but one of the best ways you can make a house feel like home is to create a bespoke furniture arrangement that speaks to your personality. Using a great DIY furniture service to work on the furniture in your kitchen or bedroom will go a long way towards making the place feel like yours again. The fact is that after a long way away, the old aesthetic of your home will feel different and unfamiliar, so there’s no reason to keep it like that if the person you are now doesn’t reflect the person you were when you left. Trust us – changing your furniture will feel like turning over a new leaf.
Put up some pictures of your trip
This one might apply more to those who travelled for vacation rather than work, but even a business trip can yield some unforgettable memories. By installing photographs or memorabilia from your trip, you’re allowing the travelling experience into your life while still setting up a base to settle down (or simply bed down until the next trip). That market you visited with your colleagues, the mountain you climbed or the show you went to that evening will give you cause to pause and smile every time you walk past the photo.
Be a flâneur
Nineteenth-century French poet Charles Baudelaire described the flâneur as one who wanders around and observes society. The word itself literally means “stroller” or “saunterer”, and it described a certain set of people in that society who simply walked through the urban streets of their city and observed people. Doing so yourself can really help to make you feel integrated into your surroundings again – if you’re based in a more rural location, going for an extended walk doesn’t just centre your emotions, it can make you feel like your surroundings are truly yours. Have a wander and you won’t regret it.
Take a new set of pictures
While you’re wandering, it’s a good idea to document the place in which you find yourself in pictures. Doing so can help you feel like you’re creating new memories and not just thinking about the ones you made while you were travelling. When you hang out with your friends, take lots of pictures. When you’re going for that evening walk and the sky looks just right, snap it. Photos can even make a solo cooking session feel livelier. The more photos you take of your life, the more you’ll feel grounded in it, and the more your once-unfamiliar home will start to take root in your heart again.
Take up a new hobby
One of the most difficult things about returning home after a lengthy journey is feeling as though your friends aren’t around any more. When a long period of time passes, people often move on just as you have – your friends might be on journeys of their own, whether they be extended business trips like yours or more permanent stays in other countries. As such, taking up a new hobby and meeting new people is a great way to make your surroundings feel like home. Giving yourself something to do each week and a specific set of people with which to do it centres you in your location – and hey, who knows, you might discover your new favourite thing!
Visit family (or talk to them)
If you’re coming home to the place where you grew up, it’s a great idea to go visit any family members with whom you’re close. There’s no better way to be reminded of your roots, and the permanence of your heritage, than by chatting to your family. If you’re coming back to somewhere different, then call up your parents, your siblings or even your kids and talk to them. You’d be amazed how settled and calm you feel when you’re talking to family you get on with. If you’re not too close with your family, then substitute family for friends and the effect will be largely the same.