There’s no place like home.

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Peckham Rye Station, London

Tonight I’ll see six friends. We’ll eat at a pop-up Syrian restaurant then head to our local that shares my name. Friends and a local pub. We’re home again.

We’ve seen a lot of friends and family these past few weeks – friends from school, friends from uni, cousins, the type of friends you keep for life. Time is no barrier with these people. We laugh, we leave, we return and we laugh again. These are the ones we’ll love for life.

These are the ones we missed. When we walked through a jungle, ate an exotic meal or stared at stars from the sand. These are the ones we wished were there.

Travel is a love, but not one that trumps our friends, nor one that trumps our family. Three years have taught us this.

We found our base

Wanderlust lives in us. It’ll continue to take us places for life. We’re not ones to stay stock still. But nor are we perpetual movers. We want community. We want a home. And we want to be near these people. We want to be a part of their lives as they live it, not onlookers from afar.

There are friends to be made everywhere. We have friends throughout the world, but many of them, like us, are nomads. There is nowhere in the world that we have a higher concentration of people we love than here in London and nearby.

We wish for the sun, we wish for the bikes of Berlin, we wish for mountains, we wish for the vibes and people of San Pancho, we wish for a city that doesn’t exist. London has its shortcomings. It’s busy, it can be grey, it thrives on ambition. If you’re not careful, it wears you down. But it’s also the first place I made my own home, the place I dreamed of through my youth, where I lived through my 20s, and the place where I first met Steve. I love London. Its been generous to me and it still continues to give. It’s an exciting place to be. And I’m proud to call it home.

Home again

Today I’m writing this to you from my own house. It’s the sofa I sat on when writing my resignation letter, the place where we booked our one-way flights and somewhere I once thought I’d never return to. But the person sitting here now is different. I no longer feel trapped. I know it’s possible to get up and go. But right now, there’s no place I’d rather be than here. This is the place I choose. A sofa in Peckham Rye, waiting for a friends’ knock on the door.

Rest assured we are not stopping travelling altogether. London will simply be our base. In fact, I can tell you now that we’re going away for the whole of December to somewhere far away that I’ve never been to before. I’m about to write a letter to you all about it now. Newsletter subscribers, you’ll be getting that note soon, along with some more details about what bought us back to London, and our usual monthly dose of links. You can sign up to the newsletter here.

33 thoughts on “There’s no place like home.”

  1. And I, for one, am royally excited that you’ve decided to stay put in the same city as me 🙂 Although its bizarre how crestfallen I felt at first when I realised you guys are in Peckham when I’ve just moved out..!

  2. Fabulous news! I too long for a base someday, but at least this time when I find one I will ‘settle down’ with the knowledge that I’m not tied to any single place. That’s good enough for me 🙂

    Best of luck with everything!

  3. Congrats on finding a home! London is one of the best places in the world to use as a base and a stepping stone to other places.
    I love travelling so much but you can’t beat having a home and being surrounded by the people you love the most.

  4. I’m not surprised you ended up choosing London 🙂
    I never thought I’d miss it as much as we have been – but we realise that it’s often the people we’re missing, not simply the place. We love London as a place, don’t get us wrong, but we love the friends we made there even more.

  5. Good luck in your new/old home, guys! It’s funny that despite having grown up and lived in London for 23 years, I barely know South London, though I have been to Peckham a few times and I can see its appeal. Looking forward to hanging out in London with you soon!

  6. Congratulations to you both. I’ve been mulling over the same pull, the same desire for home and friends. You’re right, nothing trumps that kind of love. I’m so excited that you guys have found your base.

  7. Yay! You chose London (and my Borough!). It feels good to have a base when you want one…we just keep changing our “base” every few years. Happy Homecoming!

  8. Have also just returned home (well, one of them, the oldest one – the original home), albeit not exactly by free choice. Have been away for a little bit over 10 years. Still feels strange, but am hoping time will help make it more like your London. A good base is hard to find. Wishing you best of luck enjoying yours!

  9. It’s funny that I read this today, we just booked our ticket to fly back to fly back to the UK next year.
    That pull has gripped us recently too. I’m really missing being part of a community as well as my friends and family. We’ll be heading back to Scotland, for now, it’s the only place I really think feels like home.

    Enjoy London, nowhere does better cake than the UK (in my humble opinion)

    • I couldn’t agree more. The UK is queen of cakes.
      And hopefully we’ll be able to meet up when you’re here next year. Would love to meet you guys!

  10. I have been a secret admirer of your work from afar – until now! I came upon a Terry Pratchett quote tonight and had to think of this post that I had read earlier today:

    “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”

    I wish you guys all the best in your new old home base and I am so looking forward to your next adventures!

    Love from Germany Xx

    • Thank you so much for that lovely quote. I put it in our newsletter because it’s so perfect! And thanks for speaking up _ it’s always lovely to know who is reading 🙂

  11. Ah, I’m so happy for you both! I so get where you are coming from 🙂 After two years away Russ and I will be visiting the UK in December. It would be great to catch up! I’ll email you soon. Sending big hugs to you and Steve. xxx

  12. I can certainly appreciate what it is like to have a base from which to start or continue life’s adventures. Having that stable footing with close friends and family not far away is a comforting thought yet doesn’t inhibit the thoughts of seeing and experiencing new places and cultures. I wish you both well and hope you will come visit us in our new base!

  13. So happy for you guys… and so funny how our lives keep maintaining somewhat parallel paths.
    At least for us, travel is all the more beautiful when leaving and returning to a place you know is home! Since deciding to make our base last year we have had more days of travel/exploration than ever and we’re always excited to come back!

    We just booked our flights for another leg of our journey (bringing the bus back to home base), but its almost hard to go because we are still excited for every day here (the same place we thought we were running away from a few years ago).

    Enjoy your trip to india and enjoy the newness of home!!

    • Takes me back to our conversations on the roof in San Pancho! It’s true, as soon as we decided to stay here, the idea of travel became that little bit more beautiful again. When we were nomadic, it had started to lose it’s sheen. So pleased you’re enjoying your home too. Hopefully we’ll cross paths again some day 🙂

  14. If we keep our hearts open to life, our dreams and desires are bound to evolve, aren’t they? I think it’s lovely how you have come full circle. They don’t call it HOME SWEET HOME for nothing 🙂

  15. I’m so glad that after searching the world over that you’ve finally found the place you’re happy to hang your hat and call home. And the greatest part of it, is that you’ve done your adventuring and searching and know that you’ve tried on many different bases and lifestyle and are ultimately choosing the one that fits you best. I think having that choice is the most important thing, really, to not feel trapped. It’s also so interesting to me to see the number of nomads who take off for many years only to decide that the place where they started is the place where they are ultimately happiest. So far that hasn’t been true for us (though I agree that being surrounded by friends is an allure that cannot be overstated in its importance and pleasure!), but I think we may just need to do some more wandering first before we naturally make our way home. In time I think we’ll be in a position similar to you two, with the means to base ourselves somewhere like Toronto for a good chunk of the year while jetting off for other adventures periodically. One lovely thing about basing yourselves in London is that you have so many flights at your fingertips that can take you away when you need it. Unfortunately flying out of Toronto is not nearly so affordable!

    Best of luck to you two as you settle into your new/old base and reacquaint yourselves with the pleasures of home!

    • Thank you Steph. Not feeling trapped is definitely important. We’ll undoubtedly still travel a lot (we’re off for all of December and we have some plans next year already), but we really like the idea of coming back to somewhere we know – somewhere we can touch base. Nowhere makes more sense for that than the UK surrounded by the people we love.

  16. This is always the dilemma isn’t it? How to have home and also freedom. We haven’t yet found that perfect mix, pehaps it doesn’t exist except in our dreams. But I’m glad to hear, that at least for this time in this place, you are happy.

  17. I love this! I’ve been reading your blog planning for my own RTW trip, and just discovered you live in Peckham! I first left the states to spend a term studying at Goldsmiths, where I met my boyfriend. He lives in Peckham and owns a local business there, and I’ve spent months on and off living there the past few years. I love Peckham (and if the Victoria Inn is your local, I’d reckon you live in the same area–except I prefer the Gowlett!). This is very cool and adds a layer of (imagined) familiarity while I read more about your travels!

    • Aw, how lovely! I’m a fan of the Gowlett too, but we live opposite the Victoria so it’s the easy option. Have a great time on your trip! Happy travels 🙂

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