California offers calming experience and collective beauty

by Haley Williamson

Whenever you meet someone new, you always go through the same set of questions.“What year are you?”

“What are you studying?”

“Where are you from?”

I have found that when I answer the last question about where I am from I get the same reactions. It usually involves them laughing, or some apologetic remark like it is such a bad thing. I am from Southern California and I take pride in that.

I have seen a trend of people who do not think highly of California without ever giving it the chance to prove to them how amazing it is.

The majority of people that apologize to me have visited California; the problem is they visited places like Bakersfield. Of course you will have a bad impression on California if you visit Bakersfield. Southern California is an amazing place to live, you just have to be willing to get out of the big cities like Los Angeles and go discover the hidden treasures that lie all over the state.

There are cities like Claremont with a population of less than 35,000 and you can walk up and down the streets on a sunny Sunday and admire the unique houses or stroll through the farmers market.  Their downtown is full of stores that are unique and one of a kind selling records, clothes and books.  Even going to Laguna you can drive past the tourist beach and enjoy beaches like Sleepy Hallow, Victoria and Thousand steps that are beautiful and not populated by the heaps of tourists.

You can long board from pier to pier at Huntington Beach or Newport Beach and when the sun begins to set, you can grab a milkshake at Ruby’s at the end of the pier.

Where I lived, it is perfect.  In the winter you could wake up in the morning, drive thirty minutes, surf, eat breakfast on the beach, then go home and eat lunch.  Then, at night, drive thirty minutes into the mountains to snowboard.

The little things, the traditions that come with the small cities, the local food and music, waterfall hikes and sunsets on the beach only scratch the surface of how amazing Southern California is.

Then on top of that you have Disneyland, In-N-Out Burger, the Dodgers, and SeaWorld.  You can actually swim in the ocean without getting frostbite and driving on highways is always a thrilling adventure.

Without taking the time to explore the unseen beauty and take advantage of the great things only California has to offer, you are not giving yourself a chance to fall in love with it.

Contact Haley Williamson at hwilliamson15@my.whitworth.edu

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