"People don’t take trips, trips take people.” - John Steinbeck
I was leaving huge chunks of my heart in Oregon as I headed off south towards California. The last part of my trip, the place I was most excited to explore. Oregon was the unexpected love on my trip. California was the expected love. I crossed the state border laughing at myself because I was so excited to be there my heart was pounding. I took every path less traveled I could find to get to my end destinations. I took the coastal drive towards San Fran. stopping though redwood national forest to take short hikes through creepy quiet forests some heavy with moss and seeming to hold secrets and stories. Awaiting exploration and thoughts and alone time with humans. I drove through a tree, because I’ve always wanted to do that one, and snuck closer inland to drive the rolling hills of wine country breathtaking with symmetrical lines of vineyards. I’ve never seen anything like it. And when I wasn’t close enough to the ocean on the coastal drive I explored to find roads that would take me closer. Ended up at one point on a gravel road that most definitely I probably wasn’t supposed to be driving on. But I drove on anyway because isn’t that what tourist that aren’t always up for doing the touristy things are supposed to do? I explored lighthouses and climbed what felt like endless hills. And then I headed towards the city. The city I have dreamed of stepping into for a very long long time.
"Do something new every day you've never done before. Be it little or be it big!"
"Blessed are the cracked for they shall let in the light." - Groucho Marx
I took my time crossing into the city. Stoping to hike up to admire the golden gate bridge and the city views before stepping into the very view itself. And I crossed the bridge with windows down, smile stretched from ear to ear, willing everyone to just ignore the crazy lady in the vehicle grinning at everything and everyone and going with the flow of everyone in order to soak up her surroundings.
"Healers are spiritual warriors who have found the courage to defeat the darkness of their souls. Awakening and arising from the depths of they deepest dears, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Reborn with a wisdom and strength that creates a light that shines bright enough to help, encourage and inspire others out of their own darkness."
"You can't stay in your corner of the forest and wait for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes."
First order of business, find my hotel, that may or may not have taken me a little while. Second, walk. From ports, to piers, to markets, to trying new foods on the ocean front, to climbing ridiculous hills, to the culture saturated, unusual streets of china town, accidentally finding myself on a nude beach in exploration for the perfect photo spot (still laughing), to my first ever ferry ride. Ah the ferry ride. Screw the signs warning to stay seated. That was not going to happen especially on a ferry ride where a couple and I had the entire boat across to ourselves. Falling in the ocean waves would just not have been that bad of an experience in my book. So leaning over the sides of the boat and being sprayed by the salt water like a heavy rain, I grinned my way across on the 25 minute ride. And stayed all of but 15 minutes on land and decided to just hop back on and go right back across! Did what I wanted, nobody to worry about but myself. If I wanted to just ride the ferry for almost a hour that was what I was going to do! Go figure it was was one of my highlights. Still feels like it was just yesterday.
"It was her chaos that made her beautiful."
"Whatever makes you weird is usually your greatest asset."
"I'm not sure what I'll do - but I want to go places and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big scale."
"I just want to go on more adventures. Be around good energy. Connect with people. Learn new things. Grow."
"I can call myself a fool for falling into your lies, or a warrior for fighting and finding my truth."
2 days and off again down the coast towards LA! Lots of beach stops, boardwalk walks, hiking around big sur, exploring, car camping with the windows cracked falling asleep for some of the most stupid peaceful sleep listening to the waves crashing in on the shoreline waking up for morning beach runs and tears to then rinse it all away with the sandy feet into the sea. What I wouldn’t give to start every morning of my life that way. I stayed 4 days in the LA area. Too much to see and explore and do. Never could possibly be enough time for it all. And first bucket list checkmark was dance moves crossing a crosswalk in the middle of Beverly Hills. I had people ignore me, stare, some smile and laugh. I didn’t give a damn. I have always wanted to dance across a busy crosswalk. The palm trees swaying overhead, the sun shining. There were groups doing yoga in the park, people playing with their dogs, others jogging and the atmosphere of the Saturday morning was chill and fresh and glorious. It filled me up. I don’t know if I went to the wrong areas of LA or if I was just not in tune to finding negative. Because all the things I had had people tell me about “the horrors of LA" and the "horrors of California” I just didn’t see it. The traffic was not as bad as I expected. The people were not as rude. The hustle and bustle of the areas didn’t terrorize me. The only area I went to that was not a favorite of mine at all was Venice Beach and boardwalk. I walked around for a hour and was so beyond done with it by the end of that hour. I could have skipped that afternoon there and not have anything at all unpleasant to say about my stay in LA. It definitely is a city to visit and vacation too and not for me to live. And for that I had a blast. Explored around the Hollywood sign. Because of course you have to visit. My hotel for one night was right around the corner from the walk of fame and I spent a whole day there walking through the shops and stores and people watching. Oh yes you know I was people watching. Experiencing. Spent an evening on the Santa Monica pier trying new foods like the “japadog". (As long as you didn’t sniff the seaweed, eat it by itself and ignored how it got stuck in your teeth it wasn’t all that bad!) Listing to live bands and watching the dancing observers clearly just enjoying life and not caring how they came across, looked to others or were observed as.
"I dare you to love. I dare you to cry. I dare you to run. I dare you to try. I dare you to fall. And lay on the ground. I dare you to feel. I dare you to be here now. I dare you." - Dare by Hardwell
"Fear does not stop death. It stops life."
And then Santa Barbara. Oh Santa Barbara. That would be where I would want to live if ever I was to live in California like dreamed of one day far away. I loved it there. Absolutly loved everything about it. It was busy but yet it was laid back. Everyone I ran into that lived there was friendly as heck. You could ride your bike from downtown to the beach to neighborhoods. The beaches were beautiful and clean. Every morning I was there they were alive with joggers and bicyclers. It felt right. Everything about it felt right. The shops and stores were unique. The open aired grocery store stole my heart. The restaurants were amazing, beautiful…rich in culture. I went to one restaurant and sat in a little corner table all alone for several hours, sipping wine, under twinkling lights and dark skies and palm trees, listening to live music and not giving a rats ass I was alone. It was just…simply...perfect. And I got to spend two days here with my sister and brother-in-law documenting every moment of their courthouse elopement and a day of fun with them. It couldn’t have been more perfect and the best kind of way to end my California trip. The place, the people; I felt alive.
"Are you waiting on a lightening strike? Are you waiting for the perfect night? Are you waiting till the time is right? What are you waiting for? Don't you want to learn to deal with fear? Don't you want to take the wheel and steer? Don't you wait another minute here. What are you waiting for? You gotta go and reach for the top. Believe in every dream you've got. You're online living once, so tell me what are you waiting for? You know you gotta give it all you've got. And don't you be afraid if you fall. You're only living once so tell me what are you waiting for? Are you waiting for the right excuse? Are you waiting for a sign to choose? While you're waiting it's the time you loose. What are you waiting for? Don't you wanna spread your wings and fly? Don't you really wanna live your life? Don't you wanna love before you die? What are you waiting for?" - Nickleback
And I took FULL advantage of my last afternoon-night there alone on the perfect gorgeous beach. Soaking in the warm sun, listening, staring off in the horizon of sea and boats and storm clouds far off and away. Forever taking it all into my memory before beginning my journey back to the place I call my home. The place where my 5 people are and the roof over our heads keeps us living and well. Comfortable and plenty. But yet not home to us.
"I love myself. the quietest, simplest, most powerful revaluation ever."
I still had things to look forward to on the drug out 5 day trip home. But my heart just wanted to stay by the sea. In many ways literally I left in body but not in spirit.
There was an INCREDIBLE night of staying in Las Vegas. It far surpassed my expectations. I stayed right on the strip so I literally was able to walk everywhere and I had a blast. Sat next to another single gal at Cirque Du Soleil, awed over the sights and glamour of nighttime on the strip and the buzz and lights and fabulousness. I will be coming again if just to go to one of Chef Ramsey restaurant's. A MUST happen.
And then there was meeting this incurable lady and her family and falling in love with them and making a soul mate for life. We meet through instagram and So Worth Loving and in the gorgeous desert heats of Arizona I made a lasting friend I will never be able to forget. It’s amazing the wonderful souls that live in this world you can connect to if you open yourself up to it! This beauty and her husband are the types of people and relationships Sam and I crave to have in our life. Open minded, fighting for their own truth and health, questioning, reaching, growing, living, raising their kids to know boundaries and explore and listening to their hearts. I left them so filled up and so wishing we lived closer and planing in my head when Sam and I could go back to do a double date or couples weekend with them.
My heart was so conflicted as I headed off to finish out the last leg of my journey straight back to home. My heart longed to see the ones I loves but it also longed to get back pack everything and be out of Oklahoma for good. Kick up the dust and sail away. Find our “home”. Live. Explore. Thrive with other people. Open mindedness. Opportunities. Community. I’ll not give up on THAT becoming our reality especially after the incredible few weeks I had, all the incredible people I got to adventure with and get to know and was encouraged by and all the adventuring and endless photography oppurtunies that felt right there at your fingertips waiting for you. I came home filled up for the first time in a long time and held onto the hope it would get me through the next chapter of life and not drain our after a couple weeks back in Duncan. Was ready to be back with my man, and fight onward, strive onward, reach forward together. - The more alive and free I become and the more I open myself up to grow, learn, and love the more lifeless the place we live feels.
And to one thing I realized more than EVER from this trip. I REALLY believe you should experience things for yourself and not simple just go off other people’s experiences. If you just read all about my 3 weeks of traveling…you know what, screw my opinion about all of it. It was MY experience. It was wonderful. It was hard. It was emotional. It was healing. It was amazing. But it was not your own experience. Let it make you want more. Let it make you want to taste and grow for yourself. Go and see for yourself. Open your mind to this huge amazing world and let people, and other culture, other places, other ideals, into it. Go outside of your comfort zones and get out of your ruts. Stop telling me that you can’t believe I did a 3 week road trip by myself across the country and how you could never do that, because yes, you could. You can.
“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made of paid for in factories.” -Ray Bradbury
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other places.” -Aldous Huxley
“Not all those who wander are lost.”
Upon wandering you might just find the deepest truest most alive part of yourself. You might just discover the you you have hidden away that is the realest, most beautiful part of who you are or were made to be.