The unexpected discoveries and serendipitous stops are the road tripping memories that last forever.
Exploring San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco is fun and exciting and eye-opening, yes, but it's always the random, secluded beaches and infinite coastlines undisturbed by the modern world that intrigue me the most.
I had never heard of El Matador State Beach before arriving in Malibu, and we had no plans of making a stop here. But driving up the winding coastline of the Pacific Coast Highway, I would catch glimpses of the wide spectrum of spectacular blues of the Pacific Ocean and wondered how this awe-inspiring part of the world hadn't captivated my attention earlier and what in the world had taken me such a long time to venture out to the West Coast.
I love the ocean. The sharp, salty smell of the air and the vastness of the horizons bounded only by a vault of azure sky above have a way of making me feel so incredibly small yet completely free. Short of a few locals, the beach was secluded enough to feel like a private oasis, with picturesque caves and majestic ocean waves crashing into the rocks with brutal force.
Standing on the edge of a cliff jutting out above the tumultuous waves – mere steps away from a plunging death – one cannot help but feel all of the feels: gratitude for being fortunate enough to experience this rare and magical moment with the one I love, wanderlust for a life of nomadic freedom and longing for something I couldn't quite place my finger on. I've noticed that the mind moves more freely in the presence of that boundless expanse, that the sight of it elevates the soul and gives rise to thoughts of the infinite and the ideal, which is perhaps the reason I am drawn to places like these.
I am fully aware of my tendency to romanticize the most mundane of things, but I will always cling to this memory as one of my favorite.