Here is a peek into some fragments of my story from long ago.
All my friends were going to London together, so why did I go to the US of A? Someone forgot to tell me to feel strange, guilty or brave travelling to California, a first-time traveller, alone. With a high sense of independence, travelling solo. Too young to have this mindset that comes with choice and maturity. Perhaps its thrust upon you.
My childhood offered me the ease with aloneness. Aquarian dreamer, living in my head while surrounded by people. Often misinterpreted as insular or anti-social. It’s neither. I’m just distracted by the curiosities of my own creative mind.
Setting off to San Fransisco the summer 78 I stayed with a Jordanian friend who looked like Omar Sharif. An odd first week, spent in the kitchen with the women preparing the [daily] family feast. Listening to their chatter in Arabic. It was a nurturing discovery of this culture from inside the woman’s domain. I remember one question as I peeled the beans, “Why you have no husband?” “Pretty girl travelling, no husband, no good,” she said in broken English. I shrugged, raised my hands in the air.
Once I left this sanctuary and ventured south to LA to couch surf at a friend of a friend’s house. The benefits of a cheap roof over my head and advice, where to go and how to navigate the journey. Boy did I get that wrong!
Staying in Venus Beach I found it was more like Hollywood in the movies and Hollywood very different to what I had imagined. One day my friend said, “Did you go to Hollywood today?” “Yes, why?” He laughed and said, “Anyone one try to pick you up?”, “Oh yes, at least 5!” I said with a smile. “It’s the dress,” he said with a wink. “Yes, I figured that” and rolled my eyes. Hollywood is ‘Petty Woman’ turf with a Kings Cross vibe. ‘That dress’ with the alluring lace, quite difficult to work out if I’m wearing anything underneath.
Next stop, Santa Barbara to see the person who inspired the trip. A long story that started in Australia. After taking six months to save for the journey, I arrived to find it was too late.
Oh well, in Santa Barbara they make the best Margarita’s in the world. Served in jugs with crushed ice. The glasses are frosty with a salted rim and taste no more deadly than a lemonade. Be careful when you get up to powder your nose.
This was a strange place with pretty beaches and tar in the sand. Oil rigs of the shore with a village atmosphere. A stark contrast and a disconnect, surrounded by mega-wealthy and the old people in town. There are lots of stories here. Another time perhaps.
Early is a good time to a make a graceful exit ~ travelling north to Monterey to a Jazz Festival and I’m on my way. I still have the boxes slides now faded and scratched. A diversion to lick my wounds and put a band on the crack in my heart. Never mind there are plenty more gems in the dirt. Mother nature sing me a song.
Breath in Big Sur
The redwood tree’s tall and straight, vastly different to Australian gum. Fresh cool air, quiet, earthy smell, the greenness of the ground. I’m ready to travel on.
I saw my first squirrel. Oh wow, now three, sitting looking at me, twinkling eyes and bushy tails, ‘life is an adventure, full of new things’.
Smiling inwardly, I hear the north wind.
The God’s were smiling when I arrived in Santa Cruz on a hot summers day. Street cafe’s, hippies drenched in colour this place cool and a vibe.
My spirits soaring, I’m up for a ride.