Our Elsewhere is not only about the trip we are planning in the future and the places that we will visit. It is also about where we are here and now. We can only be in one place in any given moment, and the place we have chosen to spend the past nine and a half years of our lives, the San Francisco Bay Area, is a diverse and amazingly beautiful place to explore.
The greater San Francisco Bay Area has hundreds of towns, trails, cafes, streets, beaches, and bars. Expand our “here” to the entire state of California (the state in which we were both born and have spent the majority of our lives), and the choices become endless. We have always made efforts to see what we can of our state, and since making the decision to travel the world, my desire to explore what is nearby has only intensified.
We have started off January well. Last Sunday, along with our good friend and her dog, we hiked a trail on Mt. Tamalpais and walked along Stinson Beach. The Sunday before that was spent on Tomales Bay eating oysters and drinking beer.
Both of these days featured activities or locales that were new. I had never shucked an oyster before. I’ve explored so few of Mt. Tam’s trails. I might have visited Stinson Beach as a child, but I don’t remember. I hadn’t driven that particular stretch of Highway 1 before. It is amazing to me that I can still scratch that “let’s do something we’ve never done before” itch by traveling less than an hour in any direction.
So, as much as I am looking forward to our year of travel, of all the new places we’re going to see, of the freedom and the idea that “the world is our oyster”, my goal for 2014 is not to get too caught up in the planning and anticipation. After all, there are plenty of oysters right here.