“Both girls grew up by the ocean and knew it was paradise, and better than Eden, which was just a garden” – Ève Babitz
California is a dream destination that you should seize with all your might, embrace it, and savor every moment. You will be blown away by the wonders that await you at every corner. It is a place of myths and fantasies that live up to their reputation – and yet a mystery that never reveals itself fully. Just when you think you have figured her out, you will find out that she has more surprises in store for you.
It boasts the world’s tallest trees (coast redwood), one of the world’s hottest spots (Death Valley), Hollywood stars, epic surfing and one of the world’s most popular national parks (Yosemite).
But there are also hidden gems that are hardly mentioned, that many people are unaware of, and that remain untouched.
One of them is the Lost Coast in Humboldt County, a remote area in the far north of the state. The fact that it is so obscure is probably its best feature and the reason why most beaches are almost empty – pure, wild and rugged.
I’ve seen amazing things around the world, but nothing can match California:
I am hopelessly in love with California. She is the one who fills my dreams with memories of summers on boats in the wild Pacific or playing in the warm sand.
I never took her for granted. I always appreciated how fortunate I was for every precious moment.
This is how science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson puts it:
“I lived in a utopia, yes. California was a paradise for kids when I was young, I was healthy, well-fed, well-dressed, and well-housed. I went to school and there were libraries with everyone in it and after school, I played in orange groves and in Little League and in the band and at the beach and every day was a new adventure . . . . I lived in utopia.”
She was an inspiration to many who came before me, and many who will come after me.
Jack Kerouac, the novelist and poet, was deeply enamored with California. He described it as a wild and important land where lonely, exiled, and eccentric lovers congregated like birds. To him, everyone there resembled broken-down yet handsome and decadent movie actors. He was thrilled to be there, living freely in his swim shorts and bare feet, with wild hair, singing and drinking wine by the dark red fire. For him, that was the way to live – all alone and free on the soft beach sand, with the sigh of the sea nearby. Is this what you were looking for?
As writer Henry Miller Said:
“Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch” that “There they can curse each other, insult and torture each other, defile all human instincts, destroy creation (if it were in their power), but here, no, here, it’s unthinkable, here there is lasting peace, the peace of God and the serene security created by a handful of good neighbors living in harmony with the creature world.”
…and novelist Christopher Isherwood:
For that is the true nature of California and the secret of its fascination; this untamed, undomesticated, distant prehistoric landscape, constantly reminds the traveler of his human condition and the circumstances of his stay on earth.
“Keep your connection to nature strong… and take some time to clear your mind, hike a mountain, or camp in the forest. Refresh your spirit.
“I have never met an unhappy tree. They hold on to the earth as if they cherish it, and even though they stay in one place, they explore as much as we do.
California, you have filled so many hearts with your wonder, charm and majesty.
I adored you more intensely and fervently than anything else in my life, and that will never change, because you always surprise me.
You kindly accept that I need to discover and experience other things. The world is calling, and it’s the kind of global traveler that a place as varied as California nurtures.
But you always greet me with open arms, and for that I am thankful.
What is your favorite place in the world?