Traveling, if anything, makes you more aware of where you’re from. On my most recent ventures, I saw about 85 percent of California from the window of a vehicle towing a tent trailer. I saw about 15 percent of Arizona, too, and from the shower of an RV park in Yuma, Ariz., I thought about how much I take the place I live for granted.
It takes forever to get anywhere and we can’t get traditional Mexican food — boo hoo. Even that’s changing up here in the Pacific Northwest.
Truth is, we live in a magical wonderland where outside rules and pressures do not apply. It’s like a quaint, settled Deadwood.
Lucky us. Here are things you will miss when you move to some suburb of the Bay for that job with a tech company:
Getting dressed up takes minimal effort. Don’t you feel a little grubby when you venture out of the area? Even in your best gear? Even your coworker’s birthday, go-out-to-Tomo finest? Everyone goes so out of their way to look so made up everywhere else. To the rest of the world, I dress like a 13-year-old boy and I can’t even begin to guess their ages. They have no stains or holes. Their clothing is .. gasp! … dry-cleaned. It all seems like such an effort.
Bigger pool of attractive people. A college makes for great eye candy. Can I say that? Most of the students are older than 18, right? You can’t throw a free trade banana in Humboldt without hitting someone you wouldn’t mind seeing naked. This isn’t so in Fresno. If you throw a banana in Fresno, a Wal-Mart will promptly be built on top of it.
You never have to wash your car. I owned a car here for three years and never washed it once. It blended. It wasn’t even “the dirty one.”
Larrupin Sauce. This addictive, sugary liquid has kept me in the county for 10 years. Occasionally, when I entertain the thought of moving to Hawaii or Portland (to join the mass exodus of my friends), I think, “I’ll just buy a case and wean myself slowly.” But it’s not likely. I have a problem and I will always be chasing the yellow dragon.
AND THE BIGGIE Go two miles in any direction and the scenery is blow-your-mind beautiful. Don’t try this at the beach westbound without a watercraft. You will drown. It will, however, be beautiful. So suck up that rainy season, put on your stained sweatshirt, order the Paula roll and remember why you love it here.