California reminded me once again of one of the greatest gifts of travel. Meeting people.
For me, the time spent in California was all about meeting up with old friends and making a few new ones along the way, California was an adventure.
After two weeks of literally sleeping on floors in Colorado, I arrived in Sacramento. I was greeted by an Aussie, a friend of the family and my father’s old roommate. I spent the next two days in luxury. I can hardly describe the feeling of sprawling out over a queen size mattress, enjoying a home cooked meal, and using a towel that wasn’t a freaking travel towel.
After the road trip and the partying in Colorado all I wanted to do with my time in Sacramento was rest. I spent the days enjoying good food, good wine and recharging for the next part of the journey.
My next stop was San Francisco, the original goal from way back when I landed in New York. It had taken me roughly two months to get there, and the journey ended up a whole lot different than I planned. Nevertheless I arrived and I couldn’t believe I had made it.
I stayed with a couple I had met in the first week of my travels in Mexico City. The offer to stay at their house was still open and I couldn’t pass up a chance to catch up with some old friends and get a tour of San Francisco from the locals.
I am not entirely sure why but something has always drawn me to San Francisco. Maybe it’s the hippy culture… maybe it’s the technology… maybe it’s the people. I don’t know. I had only ever heard stories, but I definitely wasn’t disappointed.
Geographically speaking San Francisco is quite small, but everything is so concentrated and no space is wasted; it’s beautiful, weird and crazy all at the same time. There is no shortage of things to do or interesting people to meet and despite the terrible weather there is a strange charm to the foggy skies, dark bitter waters and unique architecture.
I loved San Francisco, but I had someone to meet from Australia, arriving in Los Angeles, so I had to peel myself away from the strange beauty of San Fran and head south.
I took a ride share down to LA with two hippies involved in a mental health application and system management start up (worth checking out if you are interested http://www.Concrn.com). We got along great and they invited me and my friend to their investor’s condo for some dinner and deep conversation. Of course I agreed.
Located right on Venice Beach, the condo was quintessentially Californian, weird, cool and completely unconventional. It was decorated with gorilla skulls, high bookshelves accessible only by ladder. They had art from around the world and odd instruments from local inventors and other countries; I could have spent days exploring. But the best part was a rooftop with a view of the beach and the mountains. We made our way up, past the hot tub and right next to the floating tepee, we watched the sun set over Malibu in the distance.
I awoke from the floating tepee in the morning to the sound of the ocean crashing against the shore, after exchanging contact details with my new friends I made my way to the train station to head for San Diego.
We arrived at the house of a Californian born girl who had lived in Brisbane for two years; she was the best friend of the girl I was traveling with from LA and we had also met before in Brisbane.
She was living with a family. Two seven-year-old twins, one ten-year-old and a mother who was one of the biggest party animals I have met on my travels with an even bigger heart.
We had a lot of fun catching up with our friend and getting to know the family, playing with the kids and having a wine or two with mum; we felt like part of the family.
She took me in for the night, showed me around the beautiful Orange County area and introduced us to her happy family. It was incredible getting to meet an inspiration like Lesley and to hang out and talk about everything from blogging and travel to poutine.
After a night at Lesley’s I headed back to San Diego to the family. As I sat on the deck on my final night in California, sipping on red wine and listening to Australian music I had an odd mixture of feelings.
I was so thankful and in awe of my life at the moment; meeting new people and catching up with old ones. You really cannot buy the experiences of living on the road. You can’t purchase friendship or connection, and that’s what I really wanted and felt as I connected and reconnected with people important to me.
At the same time probably due to the wine and the music and my Australian friend sitting next to me I started to miss home. My friends and family, the beautiful Australian beaches and landscapes, or just the way of life.
The thought of home really inspired me to keep moving, keep growing and keep learning from this experience of travel. I felt an obligation to make sure that I get everything I can out of the journey, so that being away from what I love and know is not in vain.
California gave me a reason to keep experiencing the beauty in this world beyond myself, to connect with others, to explore, to discover and most importantly to share something beautiful. That is what I am starting to believe I want from this life.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Would love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments
If You Want to be a part of the Adventure You can Like, Share or Follow bellow.