Hitting the Refresh Button

Because there are times when you just have to breathe and reboot.

Whenever I feel heavyhearted, weighed down by troubles and trials, there’s one thing that never fails to help me reset, refresh, and feel re-energized.  That thing would be a trip to Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz holds many memories for me — school field trips with friends, family getaways, and the site of endless games of air hockey.  Most importantly, though, Santa Cruz was where I chose to go to college.  It was where I chose to put down roots, where I chose the major that would shape my career, and the place that taught me what true beauty is.

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Beauty in Santa Cruz isn’t what you’d expect.  Here, beauty is the windy, twisty two lane freeway through the mountains and redwoods that you have to traverse to even make it into town.  Beauty is a campus set high up in the mountains, where every morning is covered in fog and dew, every afternoon is greeted by a slight breeze and the smell of the ocean, and every evening is a reminder of the power of the darkness.  It’s in the way you stop in your tracks to go avoid a banana slug on your way to class, or tiptoe around a deer as you’re rushing to dinner.  It’s in the people that have always spoken up for what’s right and what’s true, the ones that set the standard for campuses everywhere.  And, of course, beauty is the beach, the sunshine, the way the sand feels between your toes, and the way every turn and every view can take your breath away.

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Needless to say, Santa Cruz is where I come when I need to get away from it all and reset.  When I know I can’t escape the problems I’m facing, but by getting away even for a little while, I can face them renewed and inspired.  With the sun on my face, sand in my hair, and the smell of redwoods and salt water in the air, I feel whole again.  I feel like everything will be OK, even if it takes some time.  And multiple trips back for more acai bowls, tacos, and coffee on the beach, doesn’t hurt, either.

Do you have a place you like to go ‘reset’ and figure things out?

All images taken by me on my trip to Santa Cruz this weekend.  Please do not copy, redistribute, or modify.

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