California Bound: Ashleigh’s solo surfing adventure.


Today was C Day……California. I’d been really excited up until the point of actually getting in the car and setting off. That’s when the nerves kicked in. Im not a nervous traveller, but with the prospect of just over 3 weeks on the other side of the world without my trusty sidekick, Dom, I was almost having second thoughts. However, I sucked it up and set off on the long drive to London. More than most things I’m going to miss my dog!

As much as I love living in Cornwall, as someone who enjoys exploring the world it’s my own worst enemy. Today for example it took nearly 6 hours driving overnight to get to the airport. I’d spent what seemed like an age just getting to the airport, I mean, California is only just over 10 hours on the plane. Ridiculous! To make things even more difficult last night was the coldest night of the winter so far. At one point whilst still in the Southwest the thermometer in the hire car dipped to -5 degrees C! I took it steady as I was a bit worried about ice on the roads, which added to the journey time.  As I’d left home at 1.30am I was also pretty conscious of being a bit tired! I stopped a couple times along the way for a starbucks (which you’ll understand is a really treat when you live out in the sticks). My hands were absolutely frozen adjusting the straps securing the surfboards precariously perched on the roof of my little Skoda Hire Car. Driving with a heap of 9ft surfboards on the roof at 70mph at the motorway feels like you’re going to take off at the best of times.

I made it to the airport in time to drop my car off, manhandle my boards into the shuttle bus (much to the amusement of the other people on the shuttle) and straight to check in.  I lost count at how many times I was asked ‘have you got a body in there?’ by intrigued members of the public. I guess it’s not often you see a 5’3 girl lugging around a mahoooosive board bag. In fact, I was quite surprised at how many people were interested in helping me and having a good old chat about where I was heading. I guess when you’re traveling on your own you’re more approachable.

It wasn’t long before I was boarding the plane. Traveling on your own also means you’re never quite sure who you’re going to sit next to. Looking around the departures lounge before boarding I had my fingers crossed it wasn’t going to be several of the characters. Luckily I’m half way over the Atlantic Ocean sat next to a lovely lady who’s also on her own on a little trip to visit her daughter and family for a couple weeks. The big fat guy with the greasy hair is right at the other end of the plane, and the screaming babies are well out of earshot. Stoked!

Im looking forward to picking up my camper. By which time I’m probably going to be fed up of traveling and ready to get my head down for the night. The time difference thing always gets to me real bad and the jetlag sets in which is just horrid. I do however have my fingers crossed that tomorrow morning will greet me with some nice clean waves, I can get some sun on my skin, spend some time enjoying the beautiful beaches of southern California and catching up with friends.

Wishing right now they had WIFI on the plane so I can watch the highlights of the Volcom Pipe Pro as I missed the final last night because I was driving. Maybe soon it’ll be possible, then flying will be a whole lot more fun!

Cracking on with some movies – so far I’ve watched a film about ‘birders’ – don’t ask!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s