We all have dreams.
It takes guts to turn them into goals though. Sometimes these dreams are attainable but without the will, most dreams become only an unrealistic goal.But, we’re Baby Boomers and the clock is ticking. It’s time to pursue what makes you happy. If working a satisfying job or having a satisfying business gives you peace, you need not chase any other dreams.
But if all life has given you is a smattering of good followed by a whole lot of disappointment then maybe it is time to listen to the ticking clock and change your way of thinking. What is important? What will bring you peace before you go “home”?
I started surfing in 1963 and learned to love life around the water and the waves. I was bound and determined never to be a land locked soul. Even though my surfing skills were lacking, I always enjoyed the serenity of being in nature while also feeling the rush of being pushed along by God’s hand.
During those teenage years and beyond, I seemed to have a recurring vision or dream. It was of a place where the sun would shine every day. There would be white sand beaches and 80-degree water with perfect head high waves that were plentiful enough so that not one surfer ever got snaked and each enjoyed the company of the other.
I always felt peace and harmony in that recurring daydream.
As I grew older and was fortunate enough to visit fabulous places in Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Spain, France, Italy, Mexico and Greece as well as coastlines around the United States, I was coming to the conclusion that my dream place didn’t exist. Maybe Hawaii, but who could afford that?
I kept thinking that I shouldn’t have been so spoiled and that I should just accept the blessing of being a San Diegan. To many, living in San Diego alone would be a dream come true. But, like the story of the little boy who grew up in a perfect island existence somewhere in the South Pacific, who felt the need for escape, I too longed for more than the beauty of California.
I wanted head high glassy waves in warm water where mosquitoes didn’t have personal names; where the sun would shine every day and I’d never see fog and gray skies again in my life. Yet in contrast, if it had to rain I also longed for Midwest-type booming thunderstorms with lots of lightning too, not the prissy little rain we get in San Diego. Such a place just had to exist somewhere.
After numerous trips to Puerto Vallarta on cruise ships, I fell in love with the place. I could have just as easily fallen in love with Cabo San Lucas or Los Cabos for the waves and desert environment but Puerto Vallarta had that Santa Barbara feel to it.
I’m a UC Santa Barbara grad and loved the way the mountains flowed down to the coast there but I detested the cold foggy summers and no waves. Puerto Vallarta was Santa Barbara minus the freeway, the cold water, the crowds and the fog.
As many of you know, I finally broke down and bought a little place in Puerto Vallarta in 2011. This, of course, was right on the heels of our mainstream press going crazy writing about all the Mexican violence (as opposed to our inner city violence in the U.S.). People, family even, thought I was nuts.
Surely they thought I would be kidnapped or have my head in my lap. Such thoughts were utter nonsense. The Mexican people are fabulous. It is “Ozzie and Harriet” and “Father Knows Best” down there. It is the 1950s redux and believe it or not.
By downsizing my business and personal life in San Diego and moving to Puerto Vallarta part-time and living modestly in coastal North County, it has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.
The sun shines 360 days out of the year. There are mind-boggling thunderstorms at night only to find refreshing breezes off the bay under sunny skies the next day. The bay is muy tranquillo, but for surfing it doesn’t take long to get to tiny little Punta Mita 40 kilometers away where the water is turquoise most of the year, the waves are soft and perfect or you can go around the horseshoe point to Sayulita (a blast to the past…hippie style), San Pablo and other points north where the waves are bigger and stronger yet the lifestyle remains slow and happy.
Your peace may be in the Colorado Rockies, the Glaciers of Alaska, a farm in Kentucky, an Indian hut in Taos or a quaint little village home outside Tuscany or Florence. But, when my daughter sent me a picture of the new billboard at the corner of Encinitas Boulevard and Coast Highway 101.
I couldn’t resist extolling the virtues of discovering my own dream.
The ad is by Alaska Airlines encouraging you to fly to paradise — Puerto Vallarta. Other than my own positive words about Mexico, that billboard is the first positive word about Mexico since, well, I’m sorry I just can’t remember. I found my dream and my peace. Now, go find yours, wherever that may be. And, may peace be with you always!