There are few things more enticing than to temporarily fall out of phase with the world, to camp in a deserted landscape and awake at the base of a towering mountain range. Although a close runner-up is to fall into the softness of crisp bed linens after taking a long shower and enjoying a warm meal at home. It is easy to feel torn between these two extremes if you are devoted to both daring exploration and a rich home life. And yet, they can coexist and offer balance.
A thoughtfully pitched base camp has kept me grounded amidst the enormity of some of nature’s most spectacular settings—whether skiing from the mountain summits of Beerenberg (the northernmost volcano in the world) or sailing across the Westfjords in Iceland. In those wild environments, creating a sense of home becomes an important distraction from worrying too much about everyday survival in the world’s more remote corners. It is a place that roots you—however temporarily—along a greater journey. Sometimes home comes with you, in the case of sailboats, trains and other expedition vessels.
To make my home base a true refuge, no matter where I am, I like to bring a few extra comforts beyond the bare essentials, such as a clean blanket and soft wool socks. I’ll pack my favorite coffee for early mornings and a candle or incense to light in the evenings. I also have a camera and a notebook for journaling. Both help me to really see the present moment and to capture a part of that experience. I always pick up a rock or two when saying goodbye to a place and bring it back with me as a souvenir. Ultimately, finding a new place to create a home away from home allows us to return from where we came feeling refreshed and renewed—until it’s time to embark on the next adventure.
For more inspiration, explore our Travel collection.
First three images copyright Alyssa Larson. See more of her adventures here. Sailboat image copyright Aurora Arktika.