My home state, California. When I left university to study abroad in Italy, when I told people I was from California, they would immediately break into the theme song from the OC. I have tender memories of being in waters of the Mediterranean after cliff jumping and being surrounded by a group of local Italians I hardly knew who were singing their brains out to that song with a hint of wonder in their voices. The choice to say California in stead of the United States had been an unconscious one. It made me sweet memories and begin to understand how lucky I was to be a native Californian.
When I left Los Angeles to live in New Zealand, Trump had just become elected president. I read many travel blogs to prepare for my big trip, and I found that many travelers would sport the Canadian flag on their backpacks while Bush was president to avoid conflict. This time my decision was conscious. If I told people I was from America, I was asked the question. You know the question. “What do you think of Donald Trump, then?” While my best friend who traveled with me for a while would eagerly speak with people from different cultures on this subject and share her opinion and hear theirs, I tended to shy away. “I’m from California,” I’d say instead. And like magic, that question didn’t come up until much, much further along in the conversation. Being 2017 and no longer 2010, the OC theme song was no longer the song of choice in response. Ironically it was none other than 2Pac and Dr Dre’s California Love.
Since returning back to the states after Covid-19, I really feel that I am first a Californian, then and American. This state holds my family, my way of thinking, my love of the ocean and the mountains, temperate weather and most of all my heart.
“The Professional Hobo”
“Never Ending Footsteps”
Accommodation – Yeah. Expensive. It’s expensive to live and expensive to visit. Just wait until Jordan and I build our hostel in Joshua Tree – then come visit! And don’t worry, we will not be one of those ridiculous $95/night in a 12 bed dorm that currently seems to be the going rate for a bed in a hostel here. Why even hostel it up if it’s so expensive to meet other travelers?
Food – Sorry Texas, but there is no better place to have Mexican food and celebrate Taco Tuesday.
Transportation – Like much of America, California is better with wheels. I’ve taken the train a handful of times and while it is beautiful it costs a ton more than what you would spend in gas…if you had a car. So make friends! But don’t hitch-hike here Kiwis – it’s definitely illegal.
Suggested daily budget – 100-200 USD
Everything you need from ocean climate to valley heat to mountain chill