road tripping the california coast | care-free & barefoot

Well, I thought, I have some vacation time. I guess I’ll take a road trip, California seems like a good call.

A week out, not fully knowing where I would land but having a rough idea of places I’d like to see, Terri messages me all the way from Australia. “I’M COMING TO VAN ON FRIDAY, AND GOING TO CALIFORNIA WITH YOU!”

Yes! A road trip buddy. There is nothing worse for me than being alone for hours on end, so this was the relief of a lifetime, plus, Terri is rad. A free spirited beauty, she just spent the past 8 months traveling through Aus and South East Asia. The most easy-going of souls, I knew we were in for an epic time.

Tuesday at 7pm seemed like the perfect time to cross the border, and start making the trek south. We had zero idea of where we would end up or sleep that night, and I’ve perfected the art of adjusting my story so the border guards think the complete opposite. (They love to know where exactly you’re headed. Those nosy rascals.)

After singing a wide variety of songs at the top of our lungs, not wearing shoes for hours, and eating American take out, we found the perfect little road side stop to call our home for the evening. Setting up the car like a bedroom, making s’mores over a tea light and listening to Ben Howard as we dozed off became a regular practice for this road trip, and it was perfect.

.California - camp

Okay highway 1, I get it – you’re a beauty. You’re a like 10/10 supermodel with an intellectual mind that carries conversation like a dream. You’ve got it all. The whole package.

california - scape

We meandered our way down the coast line, stopping where we wanted to, making various friends along the way. We decided to make Pismo Beach our landing pad for a couple days, and unknown to us – people in America really like to camp, leaving little to no sites for us wandering Canadian folk.

“Well, we have one site right there between the highway and the railway tracks. It’s available both Friday and Saturday. $25 a night.” The attendant said gently with her thick American accent as she marked it on a map.

“We’ll take it!”

California - pismo beach

Waking up every 30 minutes throughout the night to the rushing of a train passing by had me thinking my car was actually the perfect hotel, but I’m always grateful for the uniqueness of each experience. In Pismo, we ate, bonfired on the beach, made friends who are still on my Instagram and Snapchat, and got some sweet summer sunshine.

California - Pismo beahc

Sometimes when I close my eyes, I think about California.

I do it subconsciously. It’s not something I choose to think about, it just happens. The waves, the beaches, winding highways with cliffs that drop down and meet the ocean as it crashes against the rocks. That’s my happy place. It’s where I go when I close my eyes.

California - hwy 1 monteray

From sleeping on the side of the road in Malibu, to poaching campsites in Santa Cruz, going with the flow is mandatory. And to be honest – it’s the way to a good time. I’ve found being open to explore, and to trying new things leaves so much possibility that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

California hwy 1

Whether it’s taking a wrong turn and getting lost in a place you’ve never been before, or halting to a stop at the sight of a fresh veggie stand at the side of the road, the feeling of adventuring the unknown is the sweetest thing I’ve ever felt.

“I’ll take seven avacados please.” After all, they’re seven for $1, and there’s no parents here. If I want seven avacados for lunch, I’ll eat seven avacados for lunch. Road trips are pure freedom. The ability to choose whatever road, whichever direction, to whatever place is my heaven.

california - avo

The coast – it never gets old for me. There’s always much to explore, and it’s new every time.
I’ll keep ya Cali, I’ll keep you around.


California - redwoods


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