“They love being in Canada, but they are looking at houses in L.A. too,” a person in their circle tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “They’ll likely have houses in both places.”
Meghan was all smiles as she drove to Victoria International Airport on Jan. 16 to pick up friend Heather Dorak, a Pilates guru in L.A. Her former Suits co-star Abigail Spencer also paid a visit and went on a New Year’s Day hike with the couple. The Morning Show star Janina Gavankar was on hand to snap an adorable photo of Archie that appeared on the Duke and Duchess’ Christmas card. And they spent the holidays with Ragland on Vancouver Island. “She definitely gets a lot of her strength from her mother,” says a close friend.
The easygoing aesthetic of her hometown of L.A. is reflected in Vancouver Island. “They are enjoying living a quiet life,” an insider says. “They go for long walks, they do yoga, and Meghan cooks. They are real homebodies who love to chill out with Archie and the dogs.”
Meghan memorably once wrote on her lifestyle blog The Tig, “I was born and raised in Los Angeles, a California girl who lives by the ethos that most things can be cured with either yoga, the beach or a few avocados.”
Can’t get enough of PEOPLE‘s Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
Since announcing their departure from royal duty on Jan. 8, the couple has begun to write a bold new chapter—one in which “engagements” are casual and unannounced, free time is spent hiking in the woods near their Vancouver Island home with Archie, and the rules governing their old life no longer apply.
“This decision [to leave] had been weighing on them for a long time, and they are relieved to have it done,” says a friend. “A weight has been lifted off their shoulders.”