Day 246/365 Stranger in a Strange Land

I forgot.

I forgot how much I enjoy exploring a new or unfamiliar place on my own.

It has been an amazing weekend. I have had an absolute ball spending time with Lynette and Eric, and her crew of San Diego friends. There has been a lot of wonderful togetherness (especially because the air mattress Eric has been sleeping on virtually takes up Lynette entire cozy apartment).

Today Lynette had to go to work, and Eric had to work remotely. I took an Uber into La Jolla and I am presently sitting by a fire in an adorable little coffee shop. I am meeting an old friend for lunch (I am so looking forward to seeing him), but other than that I have several hours to explore in whichever way I choose.

I love the freedom of being a stranger in a strange land, so to speak.

I am reminded of one of my favorite trips, actually. I flew out to California when I was in my mid-twenties. I drove down the coast from San Francisco to Monterey and back again, having friends in both places. They were all working during the day and I would go out and explore, and then meet back up with them in the late afternoon/evening. It was so fun to be able to navigate in whichever direction I wanted to, experiencing things without concern for whether someone else was enjoying them or not.

Of course, this can also have its pitfalls. I remember driving up to San Fran and passing a nature preserve. On a whim I pulled in and went for a walk. It was beautiful. I ended up out on a remote beach which was completely empty, except for me and what seemed like hundreds of seals. Off in the distance there were some quarreling sea lions, but the seals were simply relaxing in the sunshine. Some of them turned to look at me as I got closer, but deeming me harmless, they carried on with their basking. I sat there for a long time just staring at them.

It was hard to leave, but I knew I wanted to get to San Fran before dark. I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going (no GPS either!).  I began my trek back to the car and soon realized I was completely lost…entirely alone in a nature preserve in California. This was before cell phones, and absolutely no one knew I was there. No one. I stood there panicking, wondering how long I’d survive after dark before being devoured by wild animals. All of the paths looked the same, and none were marked. I started off in several directions only to return to the same spot.

Honest to God, I thought I would die there. Finally, I got my bearings and made my way back to the car.

So…that’s my story about how awesome it is to explore a new place on your own.

SO FUN. (Seriously, though.)

Anyway, I am pretty sure I am not going to be eaten by a pack of wolves in the village of La Jolla…so, no worries today.