has anyone found interesting places along the way where they have found a feeling of home?
or lived somewhere during their travels where they have discovered that they can become part of a new community whether with other travellers or with the locals?
A few places. I lived in Denver, Colorado for work for 8 months back in 2000, and could have easily lived there for the rest of my life (if I could have found a job). Actually I move around a lot for work, and find that usually I can fit in and feel at home in most places.
I also really liked Chile, especially Punta Arenas and Santiago. In Santiago, it is both cosmopolitian but at the same time foreign and interesting. Punta Arenas had clean air and an incredibly laid back feel.
I've been in Paris for 7 weeks this year, and I think I could live here. It's a very good city for a pedestrian, and I really think the scale of the city is to my liking (big in that buildings are more than 2 story houses, but because they are only 6 or 8 stories high, still at a "human" scale). I do find it a little insular at times, it's a bit too "neighbourhood" focused. But I could see myself spending more time here.
I loved Argentina so much I stayed there for a year. I would go back to South Africa and New Zealand in a heartbeat. I think it makes a really big difference when you mingle with locals as much as possible.