Time to move on, but first a quiet day washing some clothes and making a few plans for the next leg of my trip. Profuse thanks to Alistair and his family for their selfless hospitality. Throughout the States I was welcomed very warmly, with no qualms except they seemed very concerned about the dangers of hitchhiking. Perhaps it is part of the frontier mentality to be wary of the unknown, to see danger lurking around every corner. A few years later I would visit Co. Cork in Ireland and over there people did not lock their houses or even their cars, so where does this anomie come from? It could be simply down to the number of unknown people in the area because locks are now more popular in Co. Cork, but I still found it strange that Americans were frightened of their own country. As a friendly outsider, I moved around with impunity.
And so my lovely sojourn in Santa Barbara ends, and in reflection I wrote:
Thrown back on my own resources and talking to myself – hi!
Loneliness was never an issue on my trip, I felt comfortable in my own skin. I was meeting plenty of people and even if I didn’t know them from Adam, that was enough for me. You do though become very self-referential and my inner dialogue was constant, sometimes chatty but often questioning my own decisions. There was no-one else to ask, no approval to seek, only I could understand and judge my actions. I basked in my solitude, there was no other choice, that was the faustian pact I had made with myself.
I imagine saying the hi! with a David Bowie-esque swagger if I’m lucky.