Sometimes you can strive so hard for something that you don’t even realise when it’s staring you in the face. By committing to writing this blog during a year of uncertainty and novelty, I’ve effectively set the challenge of not only living a year in flux, but documenting it as well. Clearly there are going to be times when that isn’t possible, periods of genuine flux. The last week, which I’ve spent traveling down one road on the US west coast, has presented such an instance.
The Pacific Coast Highway runs right down the western coast of the USA, hugging the cliff tops (and occasionally toppling over them in the winter) and beaches from northern Washington State all the way down to San Diego in California. It is a legendary road, and one which my wife and I chose to explore as part of our travels this year. There could not be a more analogous road for My Year In Flux than the PCH, stretching off round perilous unseen bends, demanding your attention on the terrifyingly narrow tarmac whilst simultaneously shouting for you to look at the jaw dropping scenery all around. This blend of control and abandon is a difficult one to strike in normal circumstances, with the routines of work and home life, but when you take those variables away, it becomes an even trickier balancing act.
This week, at times, just when we’ve been enjoying the shoreline views the most, the road has plunged us down into ear-popping ravines, where wild turkeys wander and giant redwoods tower, before dragging us back into a sunshiny switchback heaven at the top of yet another perilously narrow and windy clifftop. There are two ways to take this road: you can follow the white lines of the road, hanging on for dear life and talking about how great it is the whole time as you creep along cautiously, or you can just give in to the sheer brilliance of it, take your foot off the brake and let your jaw hit the floor in silent wonderment. As I survey the 250 degree view of my Californian cliff top campsite this morning, my foot is slipping deliciously off the brake.