There really isn’t, you know? And it takes leaving to make you realize that.

We leave tonight for a two-week trip to London and then Croatia, which I’ve been looking forward to for the past two months. It’s a pre-honeymoon, kicking the tires before signing the lease kind of thing. No, only kidding. But it will be fun to see how we manage to travel together.

Anyway. As I pried myself out of bed far too early this morning, too excited to sleep any longer yet too exhausted to move quickly, I couldn’t help thinking that this is the last time I’ll sleep in our bed (or any bed, for that matter) for quite some time. I will probably be missing it sorely around hour six of our eleven-hour flight tonight.

But all week, I have been staring at the sea extra hard when I run by it, drinking in the California air and sunlight, because if there’s one thing I’ve discovered in all my travels, it’s that there truly is no place like home. I was just telling someone yesterday that after growing up in Santa Cruz and going to uni here, the only thing left to do was go far, far away to see if I really wanted to spend the rest of my life here.

And it worked, because I did, and continue to do so. I discovered this about oh, hour six of the eleven-hour flight when I first moved to London. I then spent the rest of the year longing for this very ocean, downtown Pacific Avenue, how the marine layer rolls in suddenly in the evening… and burritos, oh how I missed burritos.

This made for a great deal of angst while in grad school, mainly because I had left the only life I’d ever known and didn’t know what the hell I wanted to do with the rest of it. Or rather, I did, but was still having difficulties accepting the fact that I wanted to move back to the very town I grew up in and never leave again.

Now that I’ve resolved that question, however, I’m looking forward to returning to London with the rest of my life settled and seeing it through new eyes. I’m going back with a wonderful man, a good job, and the knowledge that there is a Home and my own bed waiting for me when I get back to Santa Cruz.

How will this change the way I see London? I can’t wait to find out.