I don't know why it is that each time I have moved as an adult I am surprised by how long it takes to feel like the new location is home. This time it took almost 16 months. It sure was easier as a student where you met lots of people also new to the area because of school!
So what makes this feel like home now?
1. I can find my way around without thinking about it and have identified key places to go for what I want and need.
2. I have made a few local friends and am seeing the potential for others.
3. I have gotten involved in 2 organizations which gives me some scheduled activities. I've also tried and decided against quite a few activities/organizations.
4. I've adjusted my exercise activities and wardrobe somewhat to fit the change in climate.
5. We have finished fixing the things that were identified as problems when we bought our new home and have found that the homes spaces are working for us.
6. We have found ways to integrate ourselves back into the daily lives of family after 20 years of being across the country and flying in for brief visits. This is still a work in progress though. If you move to be close to family again please don't be surprised if after the initial flurry of time together you find that they are back in their routines and you don't exactly have an ongoing place in those. It doesn't mean they don't want you to - its just an adjustment.
If you are quite outgoing or are passionate about hobbies or activities that you can jump into in your new location, you may find that feeling at home comes about much faster. If you are even more introverted than I am, have few hobbies that involve others or feel sad about leaving your former home, it may take you longer and require a lot of concerted effort to feel at home.
I recently read a book that might help if you are struggling in a new location or planning a move and feeling anxious about how well you can adjust.
This book is partly a memoir of how she tried out various strategies to become connected to her new hometown after moving very frequently and partly reporting on social science research and/or experiences and data from other sources.