The Nomadic Desire to Return to Home

Wherever you are, that’s where you’re going.

Will Leitch
6 min readMay 7, 2024


Next month, I will have lived in Athens, Georgia for 11 years. It is the third-longest number of years I have lived in one city.

  • Mattoon, Illinois: 17 1/2 years
  • New York, New York: 13 1/2 years.
  • Athens, Georgia: 11 years.
  • Champaign, Illinois: 4 years.
  • St. Louis, Missouri: 1 1/2 years.
  • Los Angeles, California: 1 year.

I’m visiting Los Angeles this coming week, and I will see my lifelong friend and podcast partner Tim Grierson. This month, it will be 31 years since we graduated from high school together, when we left everything we had ever known behind and started entirely new adventures in entirely new places. Tim went to the University of Southern California after he graduated and has lived in Los Angeles since, which means he has only lived in two cities: Mattoon, and LA, two cities that do not, uh, have much in common. His life has a clear dividing line: The small town he grew up in, and the huge city he became an adult in and will presumably live for the rest of his life.



Will Leitch

Author of six books, including “How Lucky” and "The Time Has Come." NYMag/MLB.. Founder, Deadspin.