"Roaring twenties" - My San Diego existence / by Jessica Lee

My existence in San Diego is the closest I've come to what I would like my ideal life to be like in my "roaring twenties".

I start my mornings waking up leisurely at 7:00 am. A switch to west coast time means I'm actually waking up around 10:00 am back home. During this time, I'll send off a few emails and read the daily news while sipping my cup of tea, and take care of whatever tasks that need to be done back home for work. Then I start my job at the hostel around 8:30 am. Replenishing breakfast supplies, saying hi to management, greeting guests, light cleaning. It finishes at noon, and then the day's adventure will start.

A sample of an adventure can be anything from a day trip to La Jolla shores, surfing at Ocean Beach, hiking at Mission Trails or a motorcycle ride up north. One thing in common however, is that the days always end in a beautiful pink sunset, whether on top of a mountain, from a restaurant patio or on a sail boat. I'm greedy about sunsets. I've enjoyed many before, but I can never get enough. I always have to be sitting somewhere with a good view when the time is 5:15 pm.

I guard my time well, but I always make sure to leave room for spontaneous outings. One night we ended up at Pacific Beach, sharing tacos with a Mexican girl and listening to the stories of her huge 500+ family. Another night ended being escorted onto a military base and watching movies in the ridiculously high-end barracks the American Navy lives in (honestly, the apartment I was in was comparable to many of the King West apartments in Toronto - impressive).

Most nights are spent at bars in the Gaslamp District or the hot tub of a neighbouring hotel. On exceptionally good nights, they end in movies at the theatre or dessert at the Cheesecake Factory.

The thing I love about America is its excess. Food here is cheap, so the living is easy. The days are leisurely and the constant sunlight keeps me warm.

I'm not saying the people here don't struggle. But I keep my needs low and find I can get on by quite easily. The taxes are lower and the food portions at restaurants are huge. One meal usually equals three for me. I don't shop (stopped that habit long ago), rarely drink and my only vice is probably eating tacos all the time since the Mexican food here is much better than on the east coast due to the proximity to Mexico.

Regardless, when I look back at San Diego, I know I'll remember it with a smile. I'll think of all the characters I've met, all the moments I've lived and remember it with gratitude. The universe can be quite generous when you open yourself to the world.