Tell Your Story #2 {Where have you lived?}

Where have you lived

Number 2 in our Tell Your Story series.  Yay!

Today we are going to look at where we have lived.

Where we have been very much shapes where we are, and indeed who we are, today and I find that the houses we have lived in elicit immediate memories of days gone by.

I have mentioned this before:  I have lived in 3 countries and 25 houses in my 46 years of life.  That is one house for just under two years of life.  It’s a hefty thing to imagine really, not living in any one place for very long.  As I get older, I am sad that I have moved around so much.  Most of it is through no fault of my own – as children our parents moved a lot and as an adult circumstances or jobs created our rolling stone lifestyle.  But the reality is the rolling stone gathers no moss and I do lament not having a history, a community, a tribe.  A sense of belonging is created when you get to hang around in one place for a length of time, and I am sad I have missed out on that.

On the other hand, I have friends who have never ventured even interstate and envy the travelling that I have done.  Life is what it is.  It happens as it happens and through that process it shapes us.  It shapes our story.

So, here is a little interactive exercise for you to visually tell your housing story.

You may have heard of Google Earth (you can download it here).

Using Google Earth, you can look for every house that you have lived in.  Now, I have only lived in English speaking, westernised countries.  I have not tested it on countries that may have really remote areas.  I would suggest you just plug in that address and see what comes up.  Whilst I remember all 25 houses, I don’t remember all the addresses.  I am sorry for that because I think that it would be awesome to see all the houses I have lived in, in my lifetime.

Once you have found the address, get the street view.  {You can find a Google Earth tutorial here on how to do this}.  Once you have the street view of the property staring at you, take a screen capture (Ctrl-Prt Sc on Windows).  Pop the image to your desktop and save it.  It will be a full screen dump.  Don’t worry, we will crop it later.

Once you have saved all the properties you want, we are going to move onto our next step.

I used Picmonkey for this {you can find that here}, but you are at liberty to use any graphic design software you like, e.g. photoshop.  I opened Picmonkey and chose Collage.  I then created a Collage of all my houses.  I then saved the image and then selected Edit.  This then allowed me to put text on my images.

The end result is this:

Some homesPretty cool, hey?  I would also pop the address onto each image.

Now, print this off and put it into your folder that we discussed last week (or save it to your online folder).  Over coming weeks, I will write a few memories about the houses that we lived in and file it in my folder.  I encourage you to do the same.  That way we build up a story of the movement of our life.

I hope you have enjoyed this and please do send me photos of your properties.  I would love to see them.  Either put them in the comments below, or on my facebook page.

Happy life-story telling,

SHW Signature




8 thoughts on “Tell Your Story #2 {Where have you lived?}

  1. This is such a lovely idea. I haven’t really lived in many houses – 3 in fact. 4 if you count Sheila the caravan… and I guess I would have to. Even though we move around every few days at the moment, I couldn’t imagine moving that many times in life. I find moving so stressful! And I look forward to setting down roots again after this trip is over.
    I think I’ll ask my parents to do this task to fill me in on their home stories. Thanks Sarah!


  2. This is a fun exercise, but I must confess that I have already created a page about the places I’ve lived. Perhaps that will be my next blog post. 🙂


  3. I’m just catching up with your series Sarah. I really like how you’re breaking it down because I was overwhelmed when I first started reading (I’m 68-a lot of stuff to write!) This is a great project. I’m going to try to follow through on it because I have a feeling great personal discoveries can be made by following your lead.


  4. Cripes, I have literally lost count of all the houses I have lived in… I will put my thinking cap on and search for the most important places! Thanks for the cool idea Sarah, I love this!


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