Slouched over an unsatisfying bowl of Healthy Choice popcorn, my roomie and I were half-heartedly keeping up a conversation about the same things we always talk about-work, boys, bills, roommates, what we ate and if we went to the gym, and the desire to get away from the predictability of it all. Suddenly the thought of another weekend here was too much to bear. We had to escape.
San Diego was proclaimed our destination; the mere act of choosing an end point lifted our spirits. Our eyes gleamed with anticipation of reunions with high school buddies and long-lost crushes and the thrill of a new town, and trying to decide how many outfits a 48-hour trip demanded.
We hit the 101 with the sunroof open, the perfect road-trip playlist blaring, and a full tank of gas; giggling at the magic of being young and single with no real commitments. Rays of sunlight warmed my face, my toes curled up on the dash, my arm out the window trying to catch and turn the wind-it was awesome.
When the traffic and need for a bathroom became overwhelming, we stopped for a snack, conveniently next to a party supply palace. We wandered up and down the aisles buying anything that caught our fancy-lollipops, mardi gras beads, and a marker we used to write “San Diego or Bust!” on the car windows.
San Diego was everything we’d wanted-new beaches, boys, and bars. But after the initial excitement wore off, we realized it was all the same things we loved about Santa Barbara, except more crowded, with less chances of running into a face-better yet, a bartender-we knew.
As we arrived back home, hauling our suitcases (of mostly unworn clothing) up the stairs, I realized the best, and most important part of the trip, I’d spent laughing and singing with my roommate, just driving down the highway. George Moore said “A (wo)man travels the world in search of what (s)he needs, and returns home to find it.” I may think I’m over it every once in a while, and plan a dramatic exit, but I’m happy my stars always lead me back home to Santa Barbara.