The year is halfway over and I’m more committed than ever to make the most out of it. That means saying yes to more of the things that excite and inspire me – trips included. I went to The Bay with no real expectations (aside from the NBA championship parade that I missed by one day) and without a laundry list of activities. I only wanted to vibe with locals, relax, and spend time with a dear friend. I had no idea, though, that I would end up leaving more inspired than when I arrived.

I spent time revisiting San Francisco and discovering parts of the city I missed during my last trip several months ago. We baked under the sun in Dolores Park, explored Treasure Island, and wandered around Gap, Inc. headquarters (which was amazing since I love their brands). The most exciting part of our time in the city, though, was attending a bonfire at Ocean Beach. It was my first time taking part in such a large party on a beach and it felt nice mingling with others as if I had known them more than a few minutes. I had so much fun dancing with a group of strangers that only wanted to chill and have a fun time. So refreshing.

Speaking of refreshing, my time in Oakland was just that. The vibe of the city instantly put me at ease. The gorgeous parks, the eclectic art, and the hospitable people won me over. Everyone seemed so relatable and far from pretentious. I stayed in downtown Oakland next to busy intersections and train/bus stops and it felt like the liveliness of the city never stopped. With the windows open virtually 24/7 I could hear a whole other world below me yet still felt apart of it. Oakland, felt right to me. In its cafés and art galleries I was able to brainstorm and create. I was able to take long walks and sit on as many patios as I could to catch a breeze. I was able to have periods of stillness if only for a few days. That stillness lead to ideas about who I want to be in this moment. What I want my work to stand for. And what I want to create moving forward. It seems so simple but I truly needed to get lost in a new environment to find myself in the thick of inspiration. It was so necessary and I am so grateful.

Have you ever taken a trip that gave you a moment to pause and reflect? It could have been a brief day trip, a trip across the country or even across the world. What place have you visited that inspired you and gave your life a breath of fresh air?