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California Voices: Coming Home
California Voices

California Voices: Coming Home

A Los Angeles resident recalls her favorite California memories and shares why she loves the state.


2 min read

July 22, 2020

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I grew up in the neighboring state of Arizona—so close yet so far. Summertime was filled with family trips to Newport Beach and the Balboa Fun Zone, while spring breaks were spent with my best friends in high school and college; we visited beaches and local restaurants all over the coast and the city of Los Angeles. 

For me, California is the perfect mix of coastline, mountain ranges, and deserts. There are endless possibilities for weekend getaways—it just depends on the type of activity you’re looking for. After I finished school, I knew that I wanted to head to the coast. While Washington or California were both in the running, I knew California had my heart. Not only had I made so many memories here, I knew there was room for more. So, I packed my bags and moved to Los Angeles.

Some moments feel almost cinematic. I remember crossing the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time: My dad was driving my whole family and me, and the sun was shining, the music was blasting and we were all so happy. There are many memories I can’t wait to recreate with my own family and friends someday, especially now that I live here. 

There also isn’t another feeling in the world like driving down the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) with the windows rolled down, listening to your favorite songs, and soaking up the sun and salty air. I wish everyone could know what it’s like to sit on a lifeguard tower at midnight somewhere off the PCH, staring at the stars and hearing the waves crash with your best friend. It is memories like these that have always pulled me back. 

California is so many things to so many different people. For me, it’s about enjoying the sun, experiencing the draw of the ocean, and exploring everything from the great outdoors to the fun theme parks. Being here during this pandemic—and during our country’s latest fight for equality—has been very powerful, too. I have more opportunities to be a part of something bigger than myself and to fight for the changes that need to be made. That can be done all across the country, but there is something really meaningful about being able to do it here in this huge city of Los Angeles, with people from all different walks of life. California may not be perfect, but nowhere is; rather, it is a place for growth and for new beginnings. 

So thank you, California, for being a place where people of all different backgrounds can come together and unite. And thanks for being my escape for so long and now serving as my new home. I will continue to fight for change and equality, and I look forward to creating new memories both during and after this pandemic. 

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