Four friends piled in a car much too small to carry all of their belongings and that, my friend, marked the beginning of an unforgettable adventure.
My little Honda must have appeared as nothing less than a clown car on the run from a circus as I drove us up the California coast on the 1 back towards Berkeley with windows down, music blasting, and luggage overflowing. If I learned anything from taking that route, it’s to take the scenic route whenever possible. It’s always well worth it.
Our ceaseless conversation made the days fly by, filled to the brim with nonsense. The golden skies that appeared as the sun hid away under the horizon added magic into every 24-hour period as the day turned into night. Days always ended in utter exhaustion. It was a week where every night we laughed until our lungs gave out and that alone was enough to carry through to a smile on all of our faces each morning, after a cup of coffee that is.
We visited so many places and did so many things, all of which were lovely… yet there are still a few moments that stand out to me, apart from the rest. I got to watch one of my friend’s first experience with the Pacific Ocean; she climbed down into an ocean cave carved out of the bluffs in Palos Verdes and unexpectedly got drenched in the high tide. It was the ocean’s way of welcoming her, no doubt. We stopped in Hollywood, where a street performer on the walk of fame photo bombed our picture, trying to make a quick buck… he told us, “That’ll be a dollar.” We somehow managed to get out of it. Classic LA. Being the photographer I am, I took a good deal of photos on our trip. Another click of my camera, another memory captured that would have otherwise faded away given time. As we sat around a campfire one night for hours in Malibu, I watched the little dipper move across the sky. It seemed as if the constellation’s movement was propelled by the good times we shared as we sat under it. The wind that almost blew down our tent in the early morning hours took no toll on us, but simply blew all of our worries away.
I was reunited with my best friend—whom I hadn’t seen in months—as we passed through San Luis Obispo. When we are together, we have more fun than makes sense and we annoy all those around us, but to be honest we couldn’t care less. We visited the staircase to nowhere and I couldn’t help but to think it was a metaphor, but for what, I’m still not exactly sure. The last leg our journey consisted of one of my friends playing guitar in the back seat of my car as I drummed on the steering wheel and we all sang. Our music certainly bridged a gap as we traveled north from Cambria. Before we knew it, we were back in the ever so familiar Bay Area. Whether we were ready or not, the spring semester was upon us.
Reflecting on our road trip, I realized for once in my life, I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I was happy. Trips like this one are what I live for. The love and togetherness I felt with my friends was unsurpassable. Looking back it, I can only now begin to comprehend that somehow along our adventure, my friends and I became family. Life is mysterious like that. All of a sudden you will find yourself somewhere and you can’t help but to wonder how you got there… but if you are happy, don’t question it. That’s exactly where you are supposed to be.
Nicole White is an associate editor of The Weekender. Contact her at [email protected]