The Boomerang Principle

Why Leaving Home Always Leads Back Home

Australian Josh Kerr, comfortably at home on the West Coast…for now. Frontside grab, Baja. Photo: Tom Carey

In southern Chile I met a man who had it all. Hot wife. Cool kids. Wild green countryside in every direction. He'd opened a surf camp at this pristine little pointbreak and the waves were long and empty. He was my hero.
I asked him what was next, and he told me he was moving back to his parents' house in Carlsbad, CA, to look for a job. "I've just had enough of this place," he explained. "The endless storms. The crazy locals. The constant problems. I've just had it." He was the opposite of my hero.

He said he missed burritos a lot, too. And hearing that made me miss burritos as well. Then we talked about burritos. More than grown men should.

Californians are descended from generations of pioneers. From all over the world to America and across the Great Plains. And when the ocean stopped our progress, we learned to surf. And then we kept going.

But as they say, the destination of every journey is to return to where you started. You return to where you started, and you see it differently. Coming home is the reason for leaving.

What would a surf session be if you never made it back to shore?

Wait, don't answer that. And don't freak out about ending up back at your mom's house next time you set out in search of warm barrels and Third World debacles. It's OK. The earth is round for a reason. And burritos are powerful magnets with extra guacamole. --Nathan Myers