When someone says California, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Many people would say Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, or the beach. While these are all very valid, my first thought is home, which just so happens to be Pismo Beach, better known as the 5 Cities or the 805.
I was born and raised smack dab in the middle of SF and LA on the coast, the central coast, to be more specific. It wasn’t until I was 25 that I moved from Pismo Beach, CA to Denver, CO for better career opportunities, but I visit every year because there is no place like home.
I lived in all the cities, but I say Pismo Beach, because most people know that city best as it is where a lot of people go to visit. We may have lived in small separate cities, but we were all one tight knit community. It wasn’t nearly as populated or developed as it is now.
When I was a child you played outside until the street lights came on and then you went home and spent the rest of your night having dinner, doing homework and hanging out with your family. You were allowed to ride your bike or walk and go anywhere as long as you told your parents who you were with. It was such a small area back then, everyone knew everyone and it was safe.
When I was a teenager, it was much of the same but I wasn’t allowed to go to Oceano, Nipomo or Santa Maria as these were gang infested areas. I also wasn’t allowed to go to Pismo Beach or San Luis Obispo, but that was because Pismo had so many tourists and homeless and SLO was just too big in comparison.
As an adult I started seeing things for what they were, and wouldn’t you know my parents were right? I knew I had to go to college to get ahead, so I did. Then I realized, with it being mostly college kids and retired people, it was very hard to find a good job. When I left in 2007 the price of a shack, and I do mean a shack, was $500k minimum. There was no way I would ever own a house and rent for a 1 room apt was $1k. When I was making $8/hour I knew I’d have to live pay check to pay check and with my parents or get roommates for the rest of my life. Even though I knew I would miss my friends and family terribly, I decided to move to a city even bigger to find a career, start a life and settle.
There isn’t one day where I don’t miss home. The smell of the ocean air, the fog that burns off an hour or so, the warm sun, the light breeze, the soft sand between your toes, and the waves crashing into you like a strong hug. Or driving down a dirt road between the pines, exploring the open land and enjoying the smells and sounds of nature. Either way it’s very low stress, very pleasant, and a place you can’t afford to miss. This place is sure to keep you coming back for more!