Update 2: Santa Barbara – People, Politics, Paradise.
Morning all! or should I say, good evening? This 8 hours behind malarky is still messing with my head. Either way, I hope you’re having a splendid time wherever you are and whoever you’re with. Unless you’re not. Then you should rectify your situation and seek better company and conversation immediately.
It’s rather hard to convey the ludicrous nature of everything that has happened over the last ten days. Whether it be storming around the famous Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, discussing Gucci and Prada whilst severely dehydrated (pronounced GUKKI DARLING if you were lucky enough to receive Jamie’s Snapchats), sauntering around beaches or sampling local delicacies (also known as in-and-out), we’ve done our very best to immerse ourselves into American Culture.
For instance, it turns out I absolutely love Basketball, despite my inability to throw/jump/compete.
We eventually made our way to Santa Barbara. Safe to say I still don’t like 4:30am wake-ups in America, no matter how messed up my body clock is.
Nor do I like Greyhound.
Whilst on par with our good friends across the pond, National Express, I still can’t turn my head more than 80 degrees without a surge of pain shooting down my back.
It’s either that or I’m much older than I care admitting.
Anywho, where was I? My mind isn’t quite what it used to be.
Ah yes, Santa Barbara. We arrived with the intention of spending a single day here. It’s now a week and I’m finding it difficult to remember why we should leave. Despite the early morning start, we were graciously welcomed by one of Jamie’s longterm Amigos, Dillon, from a time since past.
What followed was an incredible breakfast, a hike across one of the most beautiful mountain-scapes I’ve ever laid eyes upon and equally one of the most terrifying descents down paths that only a lunatic would consider. Thank god for Crummie, always looking to spice up the situation.
We returned to our hosts Mansion House. Yes. You read that correctly. I said Mansion House.
Dillon, managed to stumble upon possibly one of the coolest student rooms available – situated within a beautiful old converted barn, owned by two fantastically delightful Hippies with the biggest hearts in the world. They’ve given us a room and freedom to explore the grounds.
I’ve spent the past two days tinkering on one of Dillon’s guitars sat by the pool side, writing feverishly away and practicing my tapping technique. Ben Howard eat your heart out. I’ve also spotted a wee old beaten battered guitar in a thrift shop on the high-street that has my name on it.
Yet it isn’t the sites, the food or the nonstop pop-culture references made real that leads me to writing this little update.
It’s the people.
I’ve started to remember one of the true beauties of traveling: Conversation.
Those little interactions with people who have lived a life so very different from your own. The unbelievable ability for two total strangers to strike up conversation, learn from each other and form everlasting bonds that go beyond borders. Much like that of Jamie and Dillon.
5 years seems like 5 seconds when you’re friends.
In LA, Jamie’s Cousin, Oli D, welcomed me like family. We were shown some of the best spots in Hollywood and I can’t thank him enough for being so kind, helpful and downright awesome to both myself and Jamie. The same has followed us in Santa Barbara. Tonight I am going to repay Dillon’s generosity by handing him a giant glass boot full of IPA and carrying him onto a landshark.
Sorry for going all serious and emotional there: The generosity and kindness of these people we may not have met personally or at all makes me all mushy inside. It might not help that I’ve got the new Mumford & Sons album on in the background. Snake Eyes is an absolute tune.
So what’s next? We head to San Diego at some point. It’s then a case of working out how to successfully cross the border of Mexico and head to another paradise to meet some more wonderful people along the way.
As for you, get off your computer. Go out there and make some friends.