Home Is Everywhere
A little over a year ago I wrote this piece for an online magazine and never shared it. Just as I was getting ready for bed tonight I thought "Hey that piece! I want to share that!" So here it is. A collection of words from a head space I already feel a ways evolved from a year on. It's a very small insight into some of our travels from 2016. Enjoy!
To look at our social media feeds you would think we were on a permanent vacation. Islands and coconuts and palm trees blowing in the balmy breeze. And people always ask us, how?
Travel to me isn’t packing up a backpack and heading for the hills, nor loading up a suitcase and checking into a hotel. Travel actually isn’t any of the things, or sometimes even the place, to me. It’s a space we have chosen to make each year, to travel deeper into our creative process.
Two years ago we had an idea to take a portion of the year out to travel, every year. It began with Nashville, our second home, and evolved into Hawaii, Canada, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, Lake District, Cornwall. We took a month on the island of Kauai in 2015, saw what it did for our mental clarity and creativity, and now we’re located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean once again, this time for nine weeks.
We have designed and created our little life, one month here another there, out of a desire for inspiration, freedom and balance. An intricate series of events always leads us on to the next place, people and experience, and what we need to make it happen just shows up, every time.
Our trip began at London Gatwick airport, late morning on a Sunday (our favourite time to fly) in mid-September. We pack two pieces of carry on each, plus a sneaky guitar and tripod, for a three month trip. It’s sunny, it always is when we leave, and England looks like a homey patchwork quilt from up above.
We land in Canada eight hours later to sunshine and a happy face. We’ve made a lot of friends on our travels and always visit and stay with them as we roam. Our space for exploration, a week of hiking, eating, photographing, and playing music. Sam plays a show at one of our new favourite plant-based cafes, Lettuce Love Cafe in Burlington, and we breathe deep in Algonquin Provincial Park. We document as we go, create photo diaries and video content and sometimes the prospect of the locations we’re heading to can be overwhelming to try and capture, so we don’t. If we share images, (which is why we take them, to really share) it’s because we felt called to, because that part of the world and our experience wanted a place in other people’s hearts too.
From Canada we flew to Nashville, our space for down time. We are truly at home in the South with a huge community we slip back into a few times a year. Friends, lake walks, hiking, days spent catching up and connecting and resting and nights skating around downtown rooftops followed by bonfires and porch hangs. We stay with friends, borrow their homes and cars and re-pay them in home cooked meals, cookies and hugs. It is our space for unpacking the year and repacking memories.
After two weeks and what always feels like not enough time, we were back at the airport. Two fairly turbulent flights and some questionable airplane snacks later we saw the lush green mountains of the Hawaiian island of Kauai come into view, our home for the next eight weeks. Collected again by a beautiful friend with whom we’d shared the home we stayed in last year, it was straight to feast on veggie wraps, home to drop our bags off and then our other home, the beach.
Here comes that part, the part everyone silently rolls their eyes at and whispers of ‘it’s okay for some.’ Yes, the scenery is everything you’d imagine it to be. Huge green mountains like something out of Jurassic Park (quite literally, it was filmed here), palm trees and coconut sellers on the side of the road, old surfers up at 5am to catch the best waves and murmurs of ‘Aloha’ at people you pass. The other day a lady gave me a bag of pineapple at the beach just because, an old man whittling some wood on a bench shared kind words with me, I saw a sea turtle on my morning walk and I can go out into our garden to pick fresh organic lilikoi, lemons, limes, dragonfruit and basil right off the tree. I make cakes with the lady we live with, spend my days journaling, doing yoga, drawing and reading. We take sunset walks, swing in hammocks and photograph each other in the candy floss coloured light that comes with every sun down.
But I’ve not drank from a coconut, sat in a beach bar or effortlessly surfed the perfect waves. Hawaii is our space for creation and that often means stripping everything back. Simple days at the beach, reading, surfing, writing, swimming. Back for lunches with produce from the farmer’s market. This is not the island for any kind of night life, we’ll stay at the beach until 5 or 6pm then head home to fill our bellies with big bowls of home cooked food or hit our favourite spot, (or Thai food, vegan pizza or chocolate cake!)
We make our home on Kauai for another five weeks, on to Oahu to check out the surf and bike ride the North Shore, then England for Christmas. And we truly are happy to head back to our mother land every time. Because the thing is when you love what you do, and you can do it anywhere, the idea of home transforms not into a place, but a feeling. We find that feeling in the people we meet, the art we create and the connection we build with each other and the earth. To us home is everywhere, and everywhere is home.