May 15, 2016

Song of the Day: Home by Chris Brochu

I stumbled upon 'Home' by Chris Brochu on Spotify yesterday and finally let myself wallow in the homesickness. Thank goodness it's an upbeat song or I'd be balled up in a corner crying. I am currently counting down the minutes until I can be soaking in the southern California sun and heat. Going to the beach and sinking my toes in the sand. Running or biking for miles from beach to beach. Chomping down on an In-N-Out burger and devouring some drool-worthy animal fries. Zooming around in my car, not having to rely on public transport. {Yeah, I know. So LA of me.} Catching up with my family over a good, warm bowl of Pho and some boba milk tea. Dorothy nailed it: there's no place like home.

Right now, to say I am homesick is an extreme understatement. Being in another country that is the complete polar opposite of what you're used to can be exhausting and energy-draining. {You try living in California, then moving to Ireland. People here think 50 degrees is outdoor picnic weather. Yeah, weird.} It was hard, especially for me. I have always, and will always be, a big homebody. I love the familiarity and the comfort that my home brings. Being in close proximity with my parents and sister. Looking around and being able to know exactly where everything is. Nothing is unknown and surprises don't lurk around the corner. I love routine--and that's exactly what home is. Don't get me wrong! I love to travel and experience the unknown as well; but sometimes, it gets old and you just crave the familiarity. So now, it's time to go home.

As my time in Dublin comes to a close and my exams are rounding up, I decided it's the appropriate time to allow myself truly miss home. So here it is, the many things I miss about sunny, sunny California:

1. The infamous one-season weather.
We always complain about how LA has absolutely no seasons and are always pinning away {on Pinterest} the gorgeous photos of fall foliage, but really, we love this season-less city. After experiencing Ireland's weather and what they think is summer, I truly appreciate our bland and humid-less 75 degree weather. I mean, it's beach weather all the time!
2. Not being asked if I see celebrities on a daily basis.
One thing I realized about leaving LA is that people really do think that we experience celebrity run-ins often. Answer? No, we really don't see them all the time. Los Angeles is a giant, giant city. Definitely small enough where you meet people and they probably know your cousin's brother's best friend's sister or something, but no. We don't brunch with KimYe, North, and whatever their other kid's name is.

3. Complaining about traffic in my car.
So many people rave about the benefits of public transportation and how it saves the environment, {and you can blame the Californian in me} but I love my car. Yeah, you get used to planning around the traffic, but it's totally worth it. Having control of where you want to go and when is real freedom! Complaining about traffic and sitting through is just another skill we can put on our resume.
4. Being two hours away from the mountains, the desert, and the beach.
THIS has got to be my favorite qualities of LA {where others would probably agree}. Here in southern California, we really have everything. On the west, we have miles of beaches with amazing summer life. On all the other sides, we have mountains {with snow in the winters} and vast, bare deserts. We surf all year long, ski/snowboard during the winters and camp during the summers. We really are a jack of all trades!

5. Obviously, IN-N-OUT.
It's better than Shake-Shack. That's all.
6. Weekend hikes that end with brunch.
Hollywood sign hikes, waterfall hikes, or exploring abandoned bridges and buildings. There is much to see and in such close proximity. Oh, and brunch? We invented brunch. {Or at least I like to think we did.} We have the best cafes, the most instagram-worthy food spreads, and don't get me started on the food culture. We simply just kill the hiking and food game. Google it!

7. A V O C A D O S.
This drives my world crazy. We love avocado on everything! {Yeah, we pay an extra dollar for this stuff.} On our salads, on our toast, and maybe in our shakes. It's the best topping and the best snack. Really, this stuff is like crack.

8. The never-ending rows of palm trees.
Now this is Instagram gold: our SoCal Palm Trees. When you think of California, you see palm trees. That's cause we have an overpopulation of them. But we learn to love 'em. And plus, they look good in our sunset photos.
9. Coffee shops galore.
Coffee shops--like our palm trees--are overcrowding LA, but i'm not complaining. There are definitely the staples, like Starbucks and Coffee Bean; but here in LA, we love our "hipster" coffee culture. Like brunch, we take our coffee shops seriously. I mean, we don't notice the difference in taste, but do it for the gram, right? 

10. The California State-Of-Mind.
I kid you not, this is seriously a thing. Going to the beach, eating acai bowls, driving cars, going to brunch, eating california burritos, saying "duuuuuude" or "seriously", and saying "the" before the freeway number. I mean, it really is the best state ever. 


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