Have you ever noticed that when you decide to move, your new location seems to be WAY better than where you came from? Everything is shiny, and waiting to be discovered. Youth may have something to do with it. I can remember "back in the day", when I had left the confining confines of my parents' house, and first unfurled my sails for Ketchum, Idaho. It was, in my words, "the place where I will spend the rest of my life", as it seemed to fit me to a "t". Forward a few years, and a few men, and I once again found myself back in Canada, working amongst some of the greatest mountains on earth in Banff, Alberta. Well, the descriptions defied logic - I was waxing my most eloquent. And then off I went to British Columbia, probably my most favourite place to date, to the pastoral setting of the Okanagan Valley. "Why wouldn't all of Canada want to live here?", I cried. And now the boat....
As any boater out there will tell you, this lifestyle comes complete with tremendous challenges, coupled with an abundance of soul-satisfying moments. It provides you with a chance to live deeply, and figure out who you really are, because you are not constantly bombarded with "the real world" and it's infinite number of distractions. Sometimes the realizations aren't so pleasant, but we all know that with any gain, there comes a certain amount of pain. I'll take it.
However, every once in awhile, despite the old adage of "you can never go back", you CAN go back, but with new eyes, and a more mature heart.
I'm spending a few weeks here in San Diego, and have retraced my steps back to my folks' house in San Diego. I spent a blissful 5 years here, back when I was a teenager, (as was the city). It was a fantastic place to be stupid....really, really, stupid, as it still had a small town vibe back then. The dubious decisions a teenaged blond long-haired surfer chick made did not have the dire consequences that perhaps could occur now. I'm older, the long hair is gone, and the blond remains with the diligent efforts of hairdressers around the world. I'm nowhere near as svelte as I used to be, and my fitness level has taken a beating, compliments of my lifestyle, and of seemingly not being able to say, "no, I've had enough wine, but thank you anyway."
I'm here to buy the inevitable boat parts, which entails running around to many, many many stores, in many, many, many parts of the city. San Diego is still great. The weather, sublime. The people, despite coming from all over the United States, soon settle in to the so. cal. life, adopting the cool attitude that prevails. It's proximity to Mexico, despite what the crazy Republicans think, makes the eating here fabulous and enables the culture to remain a bit like it was back in the day when SD was still a part of Baja.
I've discovered my love of San Diego again, and with the US in general. During my time back in Canada, it seemed to be quite fashionable to blast folks from the states, and yes, there are some attitudes that need a bit of adjusting (in my humble opinion). But.....the customer service here is second to none. The willingness of people to help is staggering. After having spent the last 4 years traveling the entire Pacific Coast, primarily in latin america, the biggest joke is to hear, "no hay". "No hay" has to be the single phrase we have heard the most. Always followed by a very long silence. Just "no hay". ("no hay" means "don't have" in spanish). It's not a language barrier that prevents the communication, it's just the seeming unwillingness to help that prevents people from uttering the second part of the sentence. No hay, pero.........
Everything works here, everything is clean, and orderly, and the stuff you can buy.....good thing I don't have much money, as it would be gone. The prices too, amazingly cheap. Naysayers will say it's because of the labour costs in China, but right now, I'm in heaven. The mail works, the shipping comes when it says, living is GOOOOOOOD here.
This isn't to bash where we've been. I've recently read that now that there is a new darling on the Hollywood scene, that the old "new" darling is getting blasted. BOTH can be good, and BOTH can be appreciated for what they have to offer. It's just that right now, I'm in Heaven, and "no hay", will be coming again soon enough.