23 hours awake. Butterflies in my stomach. Adrenaline flooding my body. It is already night when the plane starts its landing approach over a sea of light. SAN DIEGO. Here I am. Getting my luggage, out of the airport, into a taxi and off to my accommodation. The first view at the skyscrapers with the sea in front, while reflecting the lights – is beautiful. My new home for the next four months. Staying in the middle of Downtown with my friend from Hamburg is just amazing. Off to bed, after a really long journey…
The jetlag, caused by the 9-hour difference to Germany was rarely noticeable, for the fact that I went straight to bed. Downtown itself is a really nice place to be; the harbour, the Gaslamp District, Little Italy and many small restaurants and bars are around. Also, the beaches like Mission or Pacific Beach are easily to reach within 10 minutes by car. In Little Italy for example is every week a Street-Food-Market with fresh roasted coffee, European Bread, fresh vegetables, jewellery and homemade variations of guacamole. Also, Live music is around and you get a really nice impression of the lifestyle, people and local specialities of the city and the country.
My first days were very exciting. First of all, there is the experience on the Freeway. Americans are driving crazy, no rules, who first comes goes first. A co driver who gives angry looks out of the open window to the other road users is very helpful sometimes.
My first impression of people in America, or California is that most of them are open, friendly, helpful and interested, as soon as you tell them that you are from Germany. People like to communicate and will always ask you questions about your day and what you are up to. It is just a question of being polite.
In San Diego there is a lot to discover: from the famous Zoo, up to breath-taking beaches over to hidden corners waiting to be explored. Right in the first week my friend and I fulfilled our dream and bought longboards! What a feeling! The boardwalk at miles long beaches are just perfect to have great rides, enjoying the sun, view and the wind blowing in your face.
Sport is a very big thing in the US, such as Football, Basketball or Baseball. Therefore, we went to a Baseball game in order to feel the American spirit in the stadium. With Hot Dogs in our hands and Baseball caps on our heads we experienced and enjoyed the cheerful atmosphere of the San Diego Padres game – while trying to get the rules of the game.
Another point on the to-do list for California is definitely surfing – or at least trying to. It always looked so easy, when the professionals at the surf contests were performing their skills. But actually practising it on your own is a challenge. The hardest part is to get up on your board and STAND! Once you reach this point, it is the most amazing feeling in the world, just enjoying the ride and the power of the wave.
Potato Chip Rock hike! Yes, let’s do this, it won’t be that hard. We were such freshmen or women to believe that! The sun was burning straight on us. We were sweating, legs were burning, dry mouth. After every further step and every opportunity to enjoy a little shade, we were able to find our way up to the special rock. The View impressed us and seemed just taken off a postcard. Finally, we made it- California here we are!