I get to the hostel exhausted. It’s 11am and I’ve been travelling for about 15hrs non-stop. I need a shower. I need sleep. Most of all, I just want to brush my teeth.
James, at the front desk, greets me warmly. I notice his funky sideburns and he notices my shockingly disheveled hair. We go through the routine payment procedures as he starts to explain how things work at International Travelers House hostel.
Suddenly, there’s some commotion in the lobby and a little inquiry reveals that the hostel’s surf trip is just leaving. Ah, I think to myself a little sadly, going to have to miss out on this one…
But then, I don’t know what happens, I don’t know how the conversation turns, but suddenly, before I can properly process anything, I’m hunting for my bathing suit, contacts and flip flops. I’m stuffing my valuables in a locker and stuffing myself in a 4×4 with other 20-something year olds. I’m suddenly wide awake. I’m laughing and meeting people and trying to remember how to surf…
And so began my initiation into life in San Diego. Day 1 was spent at Black’s beach and even as I huffed and puffed my way down the steep cliffs, surfboard in hand, I couldn’t get over how stunning the view was… Jagged cliffs dropping into the ocean, the sky littered with paragliders and us, with our wetsuits and surfboards. So many times on this trip, I’ve just had to pause to let it all sink in. To admire all the beauty around me. And this was most definitely one of those moments.
The rest of my stay didn’t disappoint either, though unfortunately the weather wasn’t on its best behavior when I was in town. Still, even the gloomy skies couldn’t take away from the charm of La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Coronado Island and the lively Gaslamp District.
Three days passed by quickly and I met some great people on the trip. I really would not have had as great of a time if it wasn’t for the hostel though, and I would highly recommend it. Very clean, friendly and helpful staff, plenty of activities, pancakes for breakfast, pasta/crepes/something delicious for dinner, unlimited supply of clean towels for $2, free soap, shampoo and toothpaste in bathrooms…all for $25 a night (see link above for more info)!