- Homelife Design Lab
- A home for emotional wellness with Sarra Manaii
A home for emotional wellness with Sarra Manaii
Finding home in your third language
An interview with Sarra Manaii about her homes from Tunisia to Portugal to Paris.
Watch or listen to the full Homelife for Extraordinary Impact interview on all major podcast platforms and YouTube. You can also read some written responses below.
What are some of the places that have most felt like home for you?
This is a very interesting question for me. So far I haven't found that place that feels like home yet. When I lived in Portugal, it was culturally similar to my country in certain ways; the hospitality, how people are nice and warm.
Paris was a cultural shock for me. and until this day it doesn't feel like home, even though my best friend lives here and there's a big Tunisian community. I can easily find food and stuff from home. I often hear people speaking Tunisian in the street. Yet I don't feel like I belong still.
My home country doesn't feel like home either; I'm very different from the typical Tunisian person. Usually the priorities are getting married, having a big house, buying a car, going out clubbing with friends every weekend, and I'm not interested in all that, at least not as my priorities.
So far what have felt like home to me is the space I create for myself no matter where I'am. I have this rug that I have brought with me to Paris that makes me feel like home no matter where I live. It has these tribal & traditional Imazighen designs. Also, I guess I learned to create a home within me and carry it. But I'm still searching for that place where I feel like I better belong.
When home is going really great, what does it look like and feel like? How do you feel?
It looks organised, clean, fresh and the sun is shining in, in the morning with the smell of coffee. At night, it would be lived in a little bit, not as organised, things have been moved around smells like my latest dinner, and the lights are dimmed.
What are important daily, weekly, or otherwise regular rhythms important for you to keep a great homelife?
I make my bed first thing in the morning, I can't function if my bed is not made. I need to do my cleaning in the weekend, I need to start the week fresh. I like when the pillows in my living area are nicely stacked on top of each other. I have to take my shoes at the door as soon as I come in. I can't sit on my bed with my outside clothes.
What’s a prized possession of yours or one of your favorite home purchases?
It's my rug! It represents home, the covid struggle, and all the other struggles I went through before I came here. It has so much history and tears. It wasn't a purchase, it was gift from my aunt that I've never met in my life (that's a whole other story).
What's one thing you do or unique hack that helps you in homelife?
Making a tea every night before bed. It's my favorite moment to sip on the tea in my bed before I go to sleep. I feel so safe and happy.
An incredibly insightful interview about mental health and home, definitely worth listening/watching the whole thing! Thanks for the interview, Sarra!
Until next time,