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Long-term travel has become our norm. We choose a place and we make it home, sometimes for weeks, more often for months. We make friends, we find favourite cafés and create a rhythm someplace new. We learn what time the market cuts its prices, how to ask, “¿Hay wifi, por favor?, and how to top up our temporary phone.
Then one day, it comes time to leave. We pack up our bags and we’re gone, caught on the scent of something new. A new destination, and with it a new number to learn, cakes to find, and words to try and make sense of.
We scratch surfaces of cities and dive deep into the wells that let us in — the flashes of conversation, the brief but piercing friendships, and the moments of recognition, surprise and enchantment that imprint themselves forever. There is much to love in the life and freedom of long-term travel, but there are also cracks that start to appear.
The goodbyes become a little harder, energy wanes and the excitement takes more to sustain. Just as we once longed for the thrill of something new, we now sometimes find ourselves yearning for depth and continuity in something steady.
We want to grow vegetables, start a book group, and build a community that lasts more than months. We also want to travel. And therein comes the balance. We want to find a base – a home within our travels – somewhere to return to again and again, a place to leave from, but them come back to.
We’re not alone in that search. Over the past few months, nearly every nomad I have spoken to has shared a similar desire. So many are looking for a base, or have already found one and made it theirs. Dan and Audrey are in Berlin, Hannah loves France, and Christine is in Barcelona. Travel remains part of their lives, but they don’t want to be nomadic.
Steve and I are part of that camp. Wanderlust still overwhelms us and we have endless plans for where to explore. We want to spend part of the year in different places – a few months here and there – and take regular trips to shores afar, but we also know we want a base. The question is where will it be? Where will we call home?
The world seems wider than ever and our minds are filled with the possibilities . When you can live anywhere, where do you choose?
As ever, we’ll be sharing our journey with you along the way. And we’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have a base? Do you want one? Do you hate the idea? What’s your perfect balance?