In search of my tribe

Patrick Westöö
4 min readApr 28, 2022

Im back in London after two years and a pandemic. I feel like a tourist, taken by the size and energy of the city and the pulse. The random collection of people streaming past me on the streets and in the tube. I know now what tourists come for, and why they marvel. There is something special with this place. As I go for a run in Hyde Park and view the greenery thats fresh for this spring my love for this city is back. I run past a squirrel thats hardly takes notice of me and I stop below a massive old oak tree, gnarled tops and massive crown.

But London can also be a lonely place. When I left at the height of the pandemic I was sick of it. As I moved abroad in 2012 I’ve lived in Ireland and the UK but when I left Sweden I was still young. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about where do I fit in, where is my home. Do I go to the US, Asia or do I stay in London. It was taking up a huge part of my mind, and I was unsettled.

I was searching for my tribe.

While I was living in Ireland, Google became my tribe. It was a place where I had tons of friends, acquaintances and people I would say hi to on a daily basis. Coming back from holidays was always a warm feeling, a social embrace of the office. Everyone welcoming me back, wanting to hear about my trip. But it was a temporary tribe, a place where people stayed for a bit then moved on. I was still looking for my permanent tribe.

Humans are tribal, it’s the way we lived for nearly all of our evolutionary history, 98,000 years of it. It’s in our DNA and it’s how we survived. Our evolutionary tribes explains tons of things with our daily behaviour such as why we can get so scared when we don’t get along with someone, or when we think we might have made a fool of ourselves. Today it’s mostly embarrassment of a small quarrel but In the old days, this might have been a literal death sentence. If you didn’t get along with your tribe they might have killed you or pushed you out which would kill you as well. Hence today the feeling remains.

As I got my place in Stockholm I got a huge sense of relief. I had found my tribe again and as I spent more time in Sweden I got myself really rooted both through people but also in the places I visited. I became hyper local for over a year essentially not venturing more than 10 blocks from my house in Södermalm. I went to the same cafe everyday where Sergei, the friendly waiter became my close friend. I even moved to this cafe from another one as to follow him. For almost a…