I recently traveled from Los Angeles to Mt. Shasta in the United States and had the most incredible journey. From the funky beach vibes of Venice beach, to the majestic redwoods of Big Sur and the snow clad mountains of Mt. Shasta. It was a journey that challenged, transformed, and deeply touched my heart.
Being a beach town girl I never expected to fall in love with LA, I expected a crazy, bustling city where I would get completely lost. I was positively surprised, it has so much to offer and its actually quite easy to get away from the hustle and bustle – Beaches, canyons and national parks, farmers markets and incredible restaurants on every corner. I spent a month doing a Chef Certification on the bustling street of Abbot Kinney where I learned some incredible skills and had lots of fun. I have been traveling on a shoestring budget for the past 3 years, and the accommodation in LA proved to be far out of my reach! However, thanks to www.couchsurfing.com I had places to stay for the entire month, it was an incredibly humbling experience that filled my heart with gratitude. I would recommend it for anyone that is willing let go of the comfort and security of having a “plan”, who wants to meet new people and is happy to crash on couches. I promise it will be an adventure and you will meet some beautiful people along the way! For my final presentation of the Culinary Program my best friend came down from San Francisco, and from there we journeyed together up north.
Topanga and Big Sur
First stop was in Topanga and Malibu, visiting friends, spending time at the beach and drinking Nut Mylk lattes out of fancy china and eating waffles with our fairy goddess mama. Yum! With our hearts and bellies full we got on the road to Big Sur, a place that renders me speechless every time I go. Where the mountains meet the sea, and the redwoods cradle my soul I feel at home. On our way there I thought I spotted Zebras far up on the hill! We had to stop the car and jump across the fence for a closer look. Yep, Zebras! Hundreds of them! They were staring at us like we were the ones out of place, and I had to double check that my latte didn’t have any secret ingredients. Anyway, we stopped at several beaches along our safari road trip, and apart from Zebras we also spotted elephant seals and human beings basking in the sun. We picked up a super friendly hitch hiker who offered us a tour around his property, we hesitated for about a millisecond before our curiosity got the better of us. His property was amazing, a creek flowing through, flowers, berries and herbs growing abundantly. Mmmmm… A piano randomly placed on the side of the path. He had set up teepees and small structures, and took us to one in the middle of the redwoods. We chatted for a while before all 3 of us fell asleep.
It started getting late so we decided to head back on the road towards Santa Cruz! Met up with some friends for dinner, before driving up into the mountains. We were spending the night at a family friend’s place in the middle of the redwoods. I had heard a lot about their home and I was very intrigued. We arrived after dark so unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to check out our surroundings, however we were greeted by friendly faces and guided to our space for the night. In the morning we woke up to some of the most beautiful views I have ever laid eyes upon. On top of a hill surrounded by redwoods, not a neighbour in sight. The air was crisp and the sun shining. Our hospitable friends had left for the day, so Maisha and I explored the magical fairy land on our own. A land filled with dragons, elephants and 3 story tree houses! I was blown away by the beauty and creativity of this place, and my heart found yet another home that I am sure I will return to. Its incredible traveling without a plan as the universe provides the most magical surprises.
Around midday we packed out our humble belongings and continued on our way to San Francisco. The town of hills, music and free expression of …. Whatever you want really! I wore a cape and a sparkly one piece for most of my time there. Moments that really stood out to me was a friend’s costume birthday party, at least I think it was a costume party, it might have just been a party with people dressing as whatever they like. Anyway, for Robin’s birthday he requested people to do a performance, there was a stage set up and plenty of musical talents and skits. Another moment was on the train, where everyone busts out playing and singing with people they had never met before. Spending time in San Francisco is a breath of fresh air.
The following week we picked up my friend’s momma and headed for a camping adventure in Mt. Shasta! My friend stepped in snow for the first time with the majestic mountain towering above. After playing in the snow we skinny dipped in a river and warmed our bodies under the sun. We also went hiking through forests to the most magnificent waterfall with rainbows forming in the droplets. Snow, skinny, dipping, sunshine, waterfalls and rainbows in one day! A place of so much beauty and contrast. We learned about Tellos, and the stories filled me with wonder and curiosity. Could it be? I dreamt about the below-the-mountain people while we slept under the stars.
My California adventures may have come to an end for now but I know this was only the beginning. I feel a strong calling to go back to the places that have become my heart’s home, and also explore new destinations. Who knows what the next adventure will bring?