After traveling across the world, trying unique bomb food, meeting new, cool, inspiring people and getting to party with them every night……… it becomes very difficult to adjust back to the life you’re used to, no matter what you do. I recently returned back from my summer abroad. For two weeks I traveled around England, for two months I interned in Dublin, Ireland, and for another month afterwards I traveled to several big named cities in Europe. Every time I travel, I have the time of my life. Usually, I get to come home to friends and people I love. This time, however, that was not really the case. No other time has coming back ‘home’ hit me so hard.
Currently, I am in my last year at the beloved UC Berkeley. I have one year left before I graduate with my degree in Psychology (HA! Why). And let’s just say, coming ‘home’ has been a bit difficult. I’ve been through so much excitement, the thought of sitting at desks all day studying really sounds saddening.
To explain a little better, let me point out that I did not apply to UC Berkeley straight out of high school. After I last minute rejected the only school I applied to, Emery-Riddle in Daytona Beach, Florida, I decided to stick around for another two years in my town and figure out what I really wanted to do (again, Ha). I went to a junior college and then transferred out, not expecting to go anywhere further than down the street to my local Cal State, but instead ending up 7 hours away in NorCal.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE norcal, I love Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, the East Bay. Love it. I wouldn’t mind living here (with the ability to continue traveling, of course) for the rest of my life. But this unexpected transition that took me from my hometown for 21 years into brand new territory, still pulls on my heart. I also am ever so grateful to be privileged enough to get to go to university! I actually love school a lot, I’m just not good at making it my full time job. Unlike many people at my school, I am absolutely MISERABLE if I sit at home all day reading over notes and studying. I can’t do it. I won’t do it.
Anyway, I didn’t know anyone moving up here, really. I knew 1 person that I would actually consider hanging out with (and I did, once). Besides that, I was alone. I lived in a new place that was far from my actual school, the students, and everyone and everything I know.
Sure, I met lots of new people! I made friends, but none as close to me as this one boy. A lot of the Berkeley students I met weren’t willing to venture out much of the Berkeley circle. I wanted to see other things, do new things. This boy seemed cool so I tested him, I invited him to this small concert: A Shotgun Wedding Quintet. They’re a mix of hip hop and Jazz, definitely something different. They were playing at our school art museum, so I though t it’d be pretty cool! I invited him to go with me and I didn’t really expect him to say he’d come but he did! Score! It was a nice little meet up, we got to listen to unique music while viewing art in this cool designed building. Anyway, he invited me to a party, I invited him to another concert, and a short while later, we got together. Instead of continuing to expand my social circle in this brand new city, I kind of just stopped trying.
Life was good. I had a best friend that I had feelings for and they were returned. He accompanied me with most of the things I wanted to do, and life was exciting again. I asked him to apply to this internship with me, across the world (in Ireland), and he did. We traveled and made it there, together. But, unfortunately, we didn’t leave together. At the end of the internship, I set off for another month of solo travel around Europe. I had my adventures and experiences. Then, like all good things, it ended. I came home to this land where I live, but still this land that is unfamiliar to me. A year later and I still don’t know too many people! And again, the feelings of loneliness began to sink in.
The past couple of days have pained me. The change from traveling to studying is definitely a hard one. But not only that; my escape, where I get pleasure and happiness from, is when I go out and explore things, when I do something new. I need excitement in my life. I am so grateful for everything I have, these amazing opportunities available for me, the safeness and comfort of a Californian life style, but even so, being alone and not doing what you love is difficult.
I began thinking of my life and I realized, I miss people. I miss my high school boyfriend and our two best friends. I missed the times when I first got my driver’s license and we hung out every day, exploring the city and neighboring towns. When we used to drive 40 minutes just to get our favorite desert that consisted of three pieces of delicious chocolate cake stacked up against each other with ice cream filling the middle and fudge dripping down the sides; when we used to anticipate the waitresses and waiters all screaming ‘VOLCANO!!” and the whole restaurant turning to watch our monstrous dessert flood its way to our table, our forks all loaded in our hands ready for the attack. I miss our late night drives to the supermarket grabbing random ingredients for our experimental dinner to be cooked, and our version of alcohol back then—Sparkling Cider.
I miss my best friend from high school. I remember the first day we met, we exchanged a few small words, I left and turned around and was surprised to see her standing there, following me, and then said something which I thought was hilarious, and after that we were friends, through and through. We were best buddies. Her smarts constantly impressed me. Her ambitions motivated me. Her helpfulness and constant observation on self-improvement were admirable. I looked up to her, because she knew what she was doing and she was doing a lot. She was a good friend, always helping me out.. We used to run around everywhere we went and ask all the attractive men if we could take a picture with them. We used to bitch about everything we didn’t like, together. We used to talk shit on people and add people to our in-group. In my mind, we ruled our school. Life was good with her too. She was a good friend I wish I never lost.
I miss my best friend from junior high school. I miss when we would buy ice cream cartons and eat it straight out of it, because as long as no one else saw us, it didn’t count. I miss our sleepovers where we used to watch Dude, Where’s my Car? billions of times over and still crack up over the “AND THEN AND THEN AND THEN!’ scene. Then we joined this group, or krew, as we called it then. Us six would hang out every day, the three girls and three guys. We’d explore downtown Fullerton and eat the little sister’s cupcakes. We would hang out in the backyard skateboarding and talking and listening to The Killers. We would laugh and go toilet paper people’s houses. We were the coolest kids I could have imagined. Life was so easy, and so fun.
I miss my all my more recent friends I made in my junior college. I miss hanging out with my best friend in my 1 bedroom apartment (split amongst three of us) sitting on my couch for hours trying to think of something fun to do, only to end up doing nothing at all. I miss playing soccer with my group of friends then returning to my apartment to share in several rounds of beer and jokes and waking up early in the morning, hungover, to go watch the Chelsea game in the English Pub in the wee hours of the morning to then continue to go play soccer again, followed by an exotic dinner where we’d play “credit card roulette’ and laughing at our one buddy (who more times than chance) lost the game and had to pay for all our meals. I miss when my best girl friend and I would spend hours exchanging dumb boy stories and watching chick flicks in her room and making cheap makeshift dinners in her clean house. I miss called up my other best friend and heading down to Disneyland blasting some kind of techno music and getting our cameras ready for the insane amount of pictures we would take on our journey to the happiest place on earth. I miss waiting in hour long lines with her with the little kids to take pictures with the Disney characters. I miss throwing kickbacks every week, inviting people from different parts of my life to mesh together with my current buddies in games of Kings Cup and card games. I miss being so close to these great people. I miss having them in my life.
This hasn’t even begun to touch the tip of the ice berg. For the sake of saving us all time, I’ll leave it at that and tell you that I just miss everyone who has been a big part of my life. I even miss people I met for only a couple days on my Europe trip (the same people that probably don’t even remember me, or if they do, barely so!) I miss them all terribly, terribly much. I have a void in my heart, and as a way to fill that void and share with you great people the greatness of my city (predominately, also some stories of my travels!) I decided to start my own personal project.
Of course, this all stems from my love to travel and do something new. This website has been on the back of my mind for years, but only recently was I given enough motivation to start it. After all, I live in one of the BEST places in the world right now! The East Bay! I hope to inform others of the greatness this city has to offer, as well as the other places I have been from my own travels. I will probably throw in some interesting articles I learn from my classes, and other opinions of mine. It is a wonderful city here, a wonderful life, and I am writing to force myself to go out and appreciate it, experience it, for what it is.
Welcome to my website. May you find dreams, entertainment, and inspiration.