I bought this old foamie surfboard for $20 and then personalized it with a few cans of spray paint.
Wow. What a trip. After one year, six months and three days of traveling I have returned to San Diego. On the one hand California feels extravagant, luxurious and a bit like another world, while on the other hand it almost feels like I never left.
Let's see. I have been home for over one week now and driving on the right side of the road still trips me out, as does people driving 80 m.p.h. on the freeway. The fact that so many people go running - just for fun - is bizarre. The water is a freezing 68 degrees but the waves are soft and friendly, as are the reefs. The Target Superstore is insane and probably has a higher GDP than all of Tonga. Burritos are the best food ever, alcohol and surfboards are incredibly cheap and, in spite of being very urban, San Diego is a beautiful city.
However, the best part of being home (by far) is spending time with friends and family. It was even fun to see Mom and Dad because after living with them 24/7, two weeks apart was giving me separation anxiety. For the past week I have been spending time with aunts, uncles, and of course my sister Caity and my brother-in-law to be, Danny. It has pretty much been a non-stop party and we have no intentions of stopping any time soon.
Spending quality time with my sister in preparation for her wedding!
I am pretty sure I have the best friends in the world because they do not hold it against me that I have been gone so long, show up and expect them to go surfing with me. It is awesome to get home, call up the amigos, and go surf my favorite wave on (some of) my favorite surfboards. Also, apparently there are people who actually read this blog - for better or worse - and it has been really fun to expand on stories that they have already read about. The fact that people have some idea of what I have been up to for the past year is surprisingly comforting.
That is really the best part about being home: the familiarity of everything. From the root of the word in "family" to the fact that I know where I am going most of the time to seeing people I know everywhere I go, is really freaking cool. Although I have wiggled my way into communities around the Pacific, it is something else to spend time with people who have known you for years. I had kind of forgotten what that was like.
The other thing that blows me away about being home is how easy everything is. This goes hand in hand with familiarity, but seriously, you can do almost anything with an iPhone. Need directions? No problem. Want a pizza delivered to you on your couch? Easy. Want the newest, latest, most bitchin' model of anything? Hand over the cash and you got it. Try living in a third world or industrializing country for a few months and you won't take all that for granted (for a few days anyway).
Yes, life is good here in California. Of course I am on "vacation" so I am completely ignoring horrifying political mudslinging, the impending environmental disaster that is southern California and astronomical gas prices, but regardless, even for people who live here permanently, life is good.
And so, I will be mucking around CA for the next few months. If you live between San Diego and San Francisco and want to hang out, hit me up! Tomorrow a few friends and I are headed up to San Onofre for a little camping/surf adventure - my first since New Zealand. We will see if Lower Trestles compares to Shipwreck bay.... although there are 4 million people in the city of Los Angeles and 4 million people in all of New Zealand, so that might influence the crowd factor.
In the words of Jerry Garcia, "What a long strange trip it's been." And what a long strange trip it will continue to be.