We did a 5 day roadtrip. We drove 1500 miles. Half of which were unnecessary and ending in three point turns. Having said that we saw most of southern California. We headed East first to Big Bear Lake through the Mojave. We kept Lula from going car crazy by telling her to look for Bears. She spent an hour with her face pressed to the glass in the growing dusk asking ever more desparately ‘where are the bears? I don’t see the bears.’
We stayed in a place called Cabins for Less and ate at a place called the Teddy Bear. I was so ready to leave. After that we did Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, San Diego, Oceanside (location for my book) and Disneyland before heading back to Montecito where we’ve been hanging out ever since doing precisely nothing but drinking Californian wine and eating. (Oh, and I started my third book which is why I’ve been quieter than normal. sorry) Oprah is our neighbour. And Michael Jackson. Or his ghost anyway, hanging out at his Neverland ranch up the road.
I spent about 1000 of the roadtrip miles contemplating whether we could live here in California. Most of the other towns we passed through, I would gape at and turn to John saying ‘Crap, who the hell lives here? I mean, what do they do? It’s the middle of the desert.’
But then you get to San Diego and the coast and suddenly it all makes sense. Plus they have Yogurtland here. Why have we not thought of that in Europe? It’s the future. And it’s year round 72 degrees with a lovely sea breeze.
Do you want to live here instead? John asks looking at me with his eyebrows raised.
I grimace and squirm. I know, I know we’ve just laid down a stonking amount of money for a house in Bali. But they have wine here, and cool breezes, and Yogurtland. And fashion.
Yes, yes of course I want to live here, I say. But we can’t afford it.
And then Johnny Depp comes to me. Unfortunately not literally. I remember reading an article in an in-flight magazine where he raved about his vagabond lifestyle and how wonderful it is for him and his family. And I realised that whilst I don’t own a Caribbean island nor a chateau in the south of France, that was always the life I was after. Ideally shoving Vanessa out the way and marrying Johnny to get there. But when life doesn’t take you down that path then you gotta create your own.
So here I am doing that. I’m going to vagabond for the rest of my life as Johnny advocates. Five years in Bali. Then five years somewhere else – maybe California. Then five years maybe somewhere else. Ad infinitum until I drive that RV off a cliff when I’m 62 (it’s been prophesied). It was an amazing realisation (the vagabonding one – not the dying one) because this whole time I was looking for somewhere we could stay forever and it was giving me silent panic attacks. But what about saying that’s not how I want to live my life? What if I want to live in many places and spend my life being a vagabond? What if home doesn’t have to be one place forever but wherever John and Lula are (and newsflash they’re coming with me).
Vagabonding: It’s the future. That and Yogurtland.