In the summer of 2019, before I started my first year of college, my family took a trip out west to California for 2 weeks.
We had never gone on any vacation like this before, and it was absolutely amazing. This was why, when I saw the assignment “Story Map”, I knew I had to document our trip through California. Here’s the description from the assignment:
Using Knightlab’s Story Map, create a map telling a story of a trip you took or would like to take. Include pictures. They can be your own, or from flickr (just give them credit).Stars: 3.5
The reason I titled this post “A Dreamy Drive Down the Pacific Coast Highway” was because my dad created a roadtrip route for our travels in California using Roadtrippers, and that was the name Roadtrippers generated for the route. Technically, it should be “A Dreamy Drive Up the Pacific Coast Highway”, but I’m going to leave it the way it is.
Update: You can click on the link, OR you can simply explore the story map below.
I think I summarized our travels well in my story map, but I wanted to share a few more photos. As part of our trip, I decided to post pictures and videos of our adventures on Instagram. A friend of mine went on a trip to Utah the year before, and the photos and videos she put on her Instagram story inspired me to do the same.
Here’s a few of the pics I posted on my Instagram story:
I have so many incredible memories from this trip: my sister singing and playing her ukulele in the car as we drove, counting all of the Mustang convertibles we saw, getting lost in Joshua Tree, seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time, sharing meals with my family, creating inside jokes, listening to lots of music, hiking through Yosemite (and all of the National Parks we visited), walking through San Francisco and the other two cities, and so much more.
This trip to California is a part of my story that brings me so much joy. I found that it also refreshed me; I didn’t necessarily expect it to jolt me so much out of my ordinary, day-to-day life. Looking back, I realize that I really needed it. I had been going through a rough patch, and this trip revitalized me.
I think journeys to parts of the world other than our hometown are important to our growth as humans in so many ways. We gain new perspectives on how other people live and what exists in the world beyond our familiar paths. It’s one of the reasons I value the trips I’ve taken to Guatemala so much (I talk about these trips in my post “Future Experiences…”). It’s also a reason I love documenting my travels in general, both in writing and photography; it provides a connection back to those places I’ve been. Sharing my story of this trip and others through digital media allows me to connect with others, too. Stories like the one I’ve shared in this post and in the Story Map are so much more impactful when the person reading or hearing the story gets to see images—it can almost make you feel like you were there where the storyteller was. And I think that’s pretty cool.