The taste of city living is sweet — the presence of inspired individuals from every walk of life, the palpitations of an undeniable collective energy, the prospect of adventure looming in nearly every corner — the list goes on.
But along with city living comes noise. Inevitably, a time transpires when the volume gets too loud. The effervescent hustle and bustle awakens an inherent urge to escape, if only for a moment, from the concrete jungles that serve as daily playgrounds — a quest to seek solace, to quiet the mind, to regain perspective.
After nearly two years of L.A.’s energizer bunny commotion, my time had arrived. Fast forward to a road trip from San Francisco that resulted in 10 hours along Highway 1 and consequently, the best therapy I’ve ever received.
Big city living as a young, independent adult, despite having an incomparable (and perhaps endearingly naïve) lust for life, does not come without its difficulties. Though it’s easy to pooh-pooh the trials and tribulations plaguing ambitious twenty-somethings, living in a state of mind where everything seems possible often lends itself to disappointment. It’s hard not to get discouraged when foreseen accomplishments have yet to come to fruition — a well-intentioned desire to have every piece of life’s puzzle in place. Responsibilities aside, it’s not always effortless to feel youthful and carefree but rather, it’s easier to feel burdened by a looming set of unmet expectations.
Feeling the weight of the aforementioned, it was divine timing that materialized my trip down the Pacific Coast for a dose of nature’s finest medicine. What started as a treat for my eyes snowballed into a treat for my soul. Destinations included the Pigeon Point Light Station, unsuspecting fruit stands and artisanal roadside vendors, the Bixby Bridge (and consequential Jack Kerouac musings) and a slew of unnamed turn-offs that produced magnificent views no photo or description could ever do justice.
I felt small. Incredibly, unfathomably small. For a moment, I felt silly — what are my problems likened to all of this? What am I but a blip here on Earth? Foolishness was soon overshadowed by comfort, in which I realized what a gift it was to revel in nature’s dichotomy — the simplicity of its pure and native state yet unparalleled grandeur, beyond the creative capabilities of any man.
That small feeling was a timely blessing I hope to encounter over and over again. How generous it is to receive such an accessible, simple reminder of our limited time on earth. What a joy it is to travel, near or far, to not only experience the destination’s natural splendor, but to simultaneously recalibrate when our minds waywardly narrow.
I will never forget the colors of the sun setting over McWay Falls, with its picturesque pastels fluidly saturating into fiery hues blazing across the skyline. It takes only a moment like that to regain what is so often lost in our “me me me” culture: perspective.
Let us all be so thankful for the existence of a piece of this Earth. We’re invited to enjoy it, for nature belongs to us all.
Image courtesy of Kristi Mikesky