Having a destination stuck on my heart is common for me. My laundry list of places, spaces, and excursions I want to do has gotten out of hand. Maybe to much Pinterest or location stalking on Instagram is to blame. Most of these places I just “have to see” I know nothing about, not even its location. In my book it is a must, making it a landmark to check off and snap a cool photo of, hoping along the way there are other cool things. When traveling, I try now to immerse myself into being a local. This ‘Local’ idea was always pushed when vacationing to New York City with my family. Hunting to find the regular’s hole-in-the-wall Italian joint, or the tiny burger shop that is sketchier then bartering with street vendors. We love to venture off the beaten path trying to find the place that is “The One”. But lately, when going somewhere, I have no idea what this place has to do, eat, offer, nothing. I go in clueless, and I’m okay with that.
David and I took a weekday off and headed out to Catalina Island earlier this month. I had wanted to go for a few years. If you asked me why, I couldn’t tell you. My parents had bought me two Catalina Flyer passes for my birthday, so we put them to use and headed out. We both got off the boat and gave each other a laugh because we had zero expectations or even a clue what we would fill our day with till the boat picked us back up at 4:30. So we just started walking. If you have been to Catalina, you know that you cannot go far. With the length of the island being a little over a mile, we were sure to hit every tourist attraction and then some on our jaunt. We decided to jump on a golf cart and go on Mr. Toad’s wild ride. I’m kidding, although David likes to scare me because I am such a chicken and worry wart. His sharp turns, my karaoke, and lots of belly laughs filled our hour of quick sight seeing. The coziness of some houses, character that shaped some, and the lack of cars kept my eyes satisfied. It was such a fun hour we had together. David, not one who is into pictures had me cracking up, trying to satisfy my photo needs with a simple drive by, slowing down then off we went.
We stopped and had some fried shrimp and beer after our drive. Hands down the most buttery, fresh, fall off the tail shrimp. After we ate, we walked around the main street, wandering, feeling an escape we both needed. Being on Catalina made me feel like I was not near my home city, feeling far away, something I long for. We strolled down to the south end, stumbling upon a private beach paired with a walk up bar. We grabbed some beers, found a sandy spot and laid there. We didn’t say much for a while, just held hands while lying down. It felt nice to be silent, just listening to crashing waves. At times I forget to be in the moment. Stopping, breathing, taking it in. Before we knew it, our boat was docking to pick us up.
Catalina had no expectations for me, besides simply check it off my list. I had no idea going to a place with not much to do would be so good for the soul. I think David and I both needed a little day date with no agenda. The laughs, the ocean, the drinks, all made for a perfect recipe. Travel the unexpected.