Well, here I am after a long, long break from composing articles (“those who write articles the most have the least to say”….haha). There are other things I like to do in life so the writing often takes a back seat. One of the things I like to do, and if you’ve read my previous articles you will understand, is travel. Traveling opens me up to different ideas and cultures. Because I am astrologically considered a home loving Cancerian it is always a challenge for me to leave my “shell” but there is something within me that overrides that aspect and pushes me onto that big jet airplane. I call it my sense of adventure, my openness to things new and different.
So, just recently I had the opportunity to visit southern California and the northern Baja of Mexico. Each area is drastically different and also drastically different from where I am from in western PA. Compared to where I live California might as well be a different country. In fact, the entire west coast is that way. Yes, we are all within the same boundary of the US, but lifestyle wise and culturally, we are unique. I have no problem with this and actually had a good time learning the nuances there.
Now, Mexico is a very different story. So much poverty. As soon as you cross the border it smacks you in the face! What a difference a fence makes. One side is the typical southern Cali environment. Everything well kept. There’s actually a nice park right there on the border. Immediately on the other side of the fence lies the Tijuana area. It looks like a very bad urban area of Chicago or NYC. Just so much poverty and decay….but as you start to travel south from Tijuana things start to look better. I want to go back there again when I have more time so that I can explore the entire Baja region. I’m told it is quite nice.
I had a hard time locating a good place to eat while in northern Mexico. I did come upon a nice resort hotel south of Tijuana in Playas de Rosarito where the food was tasty but it definitely was not organic. I took my chances on a few items and ended up with only a mild stomach issue the next day. Good, clean eating does not seem too likely there unless you are invited to someone’s home. Remember, however, that I cannot judge the whole country or region, for that matter, based on a day trip.
The San Diego area is where I spent most of my time and it was like any other big market. Lots of fast food places until you got into the neighborhoods. Then you can find a few independent cafes and restaurants. You can eat healthy there if you know where to go. Like I said, it is similar to any other big city.
The nice thing about California is that the general public seems to be more health conscious as opposed to around these parts. That was no surprise. I wasn’t born yesterday! Plenty of scaled down versions of Whole Foods type stores with organic food. It wasn’t a major project to go out and find good produce. So, eating clean is easier out there. Obesity was not as noticeable either. Yes, I saw some overweight people but generally speaking it seems people are a bit more fit.
My son and I took two days to hike the high desert area east of L.A. We hiked a trail in Big Bear and also a great little trail that led to a hot spring in a place called Apple Valley. I say “great” because the pay-off is stripping down naked and jumping into a nice, warm pond for an hour before you head back. It was worth the time and effort.
So, southern Cali is a good place to spend some time. Especially if you like to get out and move your body.