South of Socal

April 15, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Culture, United States | 3 Comments
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This is my second (and final) name change for my blog. I wanted something unique at first: this blog has turned into a wellspring of my musings from my travels and I wanted the name to reflect that.  But the more I think about it, the more my identity is, and always will be shaped by my growing up in Southern California… and my journeys south.

And thus, “South of Socal” is born.  It´s name reflects the “South of Hope” article that was written about my Kiva Fellowship in the latest Pepperdine Magazine. More than that, it represents my worldview. One that has been shaped south of the border.

All this introspection started this Wednesday. The Wednesday when 45 minutes before a phone interview the carne asada burned and my mom asked me to head to downtown Camarillo to the Mexican meat market.

Carnicería. That´s what they are called. I kept looking at the clock on my phone impatiently thinking about how I wanted to be home and settled and ready to answer my phone. I walked through the shop to the back and not a single one of the butchers turned. Where´s the stupid bell on the counter when you need one.

Finally one turned around with a “Hey, Amigo” and after a brief debate, I settled on speaking English. Let´s stick with no surprises and less unnecessary conversation. Get in, get out. A “I would like four pieces of carne asada marinada dripped off my tongue”. No blonde kid should have that good of an accent and his face showed his surprise.

Get in, get out. I grabbed the bag of carne asada and headed to the check-out. Good. Only one lady in line. An old Mexicana grandma with handfuls of groceries and who constantly was browsing the snack counter behind the register. They were chatting in Spanish and I wanted to join in. Now, it feels like such a part of me, but still here in the U.S. I feel so out of place in South of the Border, Camarillo.

I was rushing remember? A second register opened and I blew out of the store without thinking about it and showed up to my house with 20 minutes to spare to answer the phone.

And in a month had forgotten all the best parts of the Latin culture. The stuff that has caused me to spend almost two years of my life there. The no rush, the never feeling like you have somewhere more important to be, the chat with strangers, the community that you create with every single person you meet. All of those great feelings came rushing back to me and I vowed to take another trip to downtown Camarillo.

Yes, I think I like it south of socal.


Save Me, San Diego

November 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Posted in Beach, Cuzco, Peru, Travel, United States | 3 Comments
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It´s not a daydream if you decide to make it your life – Train

It has been a while.  And typically with my schedule as it was in the states I would never have the chance to get on and blog.  But here I am.  I think its only because I am trying to put off packing for as long as possible.

I visited a ton of people (and I´m super bummed about those that I never got a chance to hang out with!) and tomorrow, I leave for Cuzco, Peru.  As I leave, I wonder what would happen if I stayed.  If I would get a job, if I would be happy back in L.A. or the U.S.A. for a while.  But if I did, I would wonder what sort of adventure I missed out on down south.  Which is why I try to continue to turn my travel dreams into reality.  Over the next few months, I´m going to live at the base of Machu Piccu, explore Patagonia, and continue to serve as a Kiva Fellow in one of the coolest cities in South America.

It´s with a mix of nostalgia and excitement that I leave the U.S. because when you get down to it, nothing in the world beats a California sunset or crusing down PCH.

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