Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
There are countless options for things to do in California. It’s a state that offers so much in terms of varied landscapes – from the desert to the beach, mountains, and redwood forests.
Having lived in California for 23 of my 28 years, there’s a lot I love about this place I most recently moved back to and now call home.
And I’m not alone. In the US, California has been the place to move to, a state of transfers and outsiders who come here for the high standard of living, the beautiful coastline, or maybe to make it big, either in Hollywood or the tech industry in Silicon Valley.
California is a place for laid back vibes, dreamers, and outdoorsy folk. Although there are a lot of stereotypes when it comes to California (and Californians), you can’t put the people or the landscape in a box, it’s much too varied.
Note: this post contains affiliate links
If you’re looking for an easy hike in San Diego that offers drop dead gorgeous views of the glistening coastline, look no further than the Torrey Pines Hike.
I lived in San Diego for 5 years and luckily had a chance to tackle quite a few hikes around and just outside the city.
The thing is, San Diego is full of beautiful hikes and opportunities to get outside. It has fantastic weather year-round, and the city itself is full of outdoorsy people who love to get outside and tackle a new challenge on the trail.
After spending so much of 2017 on my own, I made it a plan in 2018 to build up more of a community in my life again.
I did this in two ways:
- Finding a home base so I didn’t have to live out of a backpack anymore.
- Planning my trips based on which friends I wanted to see and catch up with the most, above seeing as many new countries as possible.
Because I made community such a big focus of 2018, I felt constantly loved, supported, and surrounded by good energy this year.
It was a wonderful year in so many ways. Another year of growth, of nurturing my oldest and newest friendships, and leaning even more into my independence.
*Note: this post contains affiliate links
You may have noticed that I didn’t write a wrap up post last month.
It was already almost the end of November by the time I finally had a slice of free time to write for this blog, and I already had guilt about not getting out my wrap up post for October yet.
So, I decided to give myself a break and just combine my wrap-ups for October & November into one post.
As I’ve gotten more into this whole running my own business thing, I’ve realized how important it is to let things go sometimes, and come up with solutions that will stress me out the least while still getting my highest priority work done.
It’s a delicate balance, but it helps when I think of the bigger picture and the importance of avoiding burnout.
September was an exciting month of returning back to California and setting up a base in San Francisco. It was a bit surreal to be back stateside after only a few months abroad, but I couldn’t deny how happy it made me to be back in California and in a culture that I knew like the back of my hand.
I had to keep pinching myself to remind myself that I was actually home and that I didn’t have plans to leave again anytime soon. It was a weird but refreshing feeling.
After running around trying to see as much as possible in Portugal and Morocco in August, it was nice to simply slow down and focus on my work, my writing, and spending quality time with family.
After 5 and a half years of slow travel around the world, I’m ready to have a more stable life in California. This is why.
When the wheels lifted off the tarmac for Iceland in May, I felt my heart sink and float back down to San Francisco.
A realization set in. I was leaving for yet another indefinite amount of time abroad, and all I could think about was how much I was going to miss California.
I rarely get homesick, and the fact that I was already feeling a homesickness creep in during takeoff was proof enough that, at least for now, California is where my heart and mind are at.
It’s hard to believe that it was just the beginning of May that I was still stateside. It feels like I’ve been away much longer, mostly because I’ve done a lot in the past few weeks, adventuring to Iceland, Scotland, and England.
The month started with a round of goodbyes in California. I had a night out for my going away drinks in San Francisco, and saw some of my closest California-based friends before I took off for expat life again.
Before the second week of May, I was on a plane with my friend Urvi to explore Iceland for a week. The country was even more awe-inspiring and understated than I thought it would be. It’s a place I could see myself coming back to regularly.
The rest of the month was spent in the UK, in England and Scotland.
You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place. // Miriam Adeney
I’m currently on a train in Scotland, rolling through the lush green countryside. There are deep blue-grey lochs on my left and clean white light filtering through the many windows in my car.
This is my life, or at least it has been for the past 5 years. I somehow find myself in the most beautiful places, usually by myself, or all to myself, if you frame it that way.
It’s my 28th birthday this Saturday. The past years have been a whirlwind of travel memories, some of my strongest friendships, losses, and countless new beginnings.
April brought good weather, fond memories, and my last full month in the US before heading off to Europe. As I’ve been doing for most of the past six months, I spent half of my time in San Francisco and the other half in my hometown of Santa Cruz.
April also reminded me of how hard it’s going to be to leave California this time around. Except for the little taste I had of living in Greece this past summer, it was the first time in a long while where it felt like I had a small community that could build into something wonderful.
On one hand, March went by in a slow and methodical way. March always feels extra long coming after February and I packed so much into this month, it’s hard to believe that it has only been four weeks. On the other hand, IT’S APRIL!! The 4th month of the year already.
There were a few things that I thought I would’ve done already by this time in 2018 – namely, I thought I would’ve started writing my first book and already be living in Europe. However, I’ve learned how good it can be to let go of expectations sometimes, and just let life take you where it will.