Though this isn’t the first time I’ve written about my home and certainly isn’t the last, I feel it’s time I write a love letter to the destination that has stolen my heart for good: California.
We’ve had our ups and down but there is no where else in the world that I love quite like California. I moved to the Golden State from Seattle close to three years ago now and for the first year and a half wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to stay. My heart longed for distant lands I had yet to explore and I wasn’t quite convinced of my backyard of what was the trendy yet filthy streets of Downtown Los Angeles.
Traveling changed that. As anyone who’s been following me knows, I spent the summer backpacking through Europe. I picked the countries I wanted to visit the most and that I always thought I could see myself living in. It was the best summer of my life and I am still in love with these countries and the experiences they brought me. Though through my summer away in some of the most incredible places in the world I also discovered my heart would ache for the sunshine and beautiful beaches along the California coast.
It was more than just missing my cozy bed and being able to pick my outfit from a walk-in closet rather than an oversized backpack. It was the sunshine, the people, and most importantly the feeling. When I moved here I hated the beach but now I can’t get enough of digging my toes in the sand and smelling the salty air below the cliffs in Malibu. I could not fathom eating Mexican food and now I find myself downing a jar of salsa in three days.
The endless stream of avocados and lists of restaurants in every genre imaginable make it impossible to be fully satisfied anywhere else. The people have motivation that could only be matched in cities such as New York – only we don’t mind taking a beach break here and there. People aren’t afraid to truly be themselves and wear whatever they want which makes it easy to express yourself.
Snow cravings are met within a couple hours drive to Big Bear or Idyllwild. My hiking dreams lay up north in Yosemite and I can find my peace getting lost in the Redwood Forest. Laid back beach towns and luxury houses dot the beautiful coast line and constantly give me the motivation to keep pushing forward so I can earn my future Malibu home overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Though I will never stop traveling and exploring the possibilities throughout the world, I want to spend more days than not waking up to the sunshine hitting my face and palm trees out my window. I want to have my office be my deck while I wear shorts and sunblock in the middle of February. I want to be able to watch the sky put on breathtaking shows every night to celebrate the passing of another beautiful day.
It may not be my first home (Washington, you will get your love letter one day also ;)) but I know it will be my last and I am so happy I found it early in my life. Travel will always be one of my biggest priorities but I know on every trip away a part of me will be itching to get back to my (almost) guaranteed sunshine and to the place that really just gets me. There’s a reason the world is California Dreamin’.