The Sunshine State.

It’s funny how life works sometimes. Yesterday, both my mother and a friend asked me within an hour of each other if I ever feel lonely. To be honest, yes, sometimes I do. I love being on my own, I need a lot of space to be happy, but sometimes I wish I was traveling with someone just to be able to talk about something deeper than just the small talk I do with the people I meet on the road. Or just share the experiences with someone. But then I remember that they’d have a say in what we do, where we go, what we eat, where we stay and all of that stuff and then I remember why I love traveling alone. I meet enough people to not feel completely alone, and I’m very happy, so don’t worry about me. I’m a huge loner and even if it’s not for everyone, it’s how I thrive.

But in adventure news, I left Savannah on Thursday morning. It feels weird to just be traveling with a backpack (and a snack bag because long bus journey). And the bandage is just for some extra support, my hand is slowly getting a bit better which is very comforting.  
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I got on the Greyhound bus to St Augustine and after having read a lot of reviews about the bus company and the people who use it, I immediately set my eyes on a skinny guy sitting alone. “Pick your seat partner before someone else picks you” is what I had read, which I would get to know after we stopped in Jacksonville a few hours later and that guy got off… let’s just say I sat squished to the window in my seat without much space to move around for the rest of the trip.

But the bus trip was fine and I watched some movies before we arrived in St Augustine. It’s on the north east coast of Florida, and the “oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement in the continental United States.” I don’t even know what that means, but it’s what wikipedia says. All I know is that it’s absolutely beautiful.
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I had some trouble finding a taxi, but eventually I found one who could drive me to St Augustine Beach which is where I’m staying. It is so beautiful here, the beaches are wide and white, the palm trees are everywhere and the ocean is warm and inviting. Yes, Florida might be heaven on earth.

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I walked to pick up a rental bike as well that day, as I needed some form of transportation while there. I figured a beach cruiser would be perfect, as it has no gears, I use my feet to brake and I can ride with just one hand. I love beach cruisers, I owned one when I lived in LA and would love to get one when I get back to Sweden again.

And here’s the best thing about St Augustine: (okay everything is great about this place but) there are bike lanes! And if you don’t want to ride on the streets, you can ride on the beach! My surf lesson was 7 km away from my hotel, and I could ride the entire way along the ocean, watching the waves crashing against the beach. How awesome is that?

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Waiting with Stella, the cruiser, for my first surf lesson.

The surfing itself was amazing. I had booked with a company called St Augustine Surf School and had the owner himself, Dustin, as a coach for 90 minutes. We went through the basics on the beach before getting in the water, and less than thirty minutes after we had begun on the beach I was up riding a wave. I could heard Dustin yelling “HELL YEAAAAAH!” behind me as I stretched my arms out in victory, before promptly falling head first into the water. But it was such a rush, and so much fun. I was so sore afterwards though, my entire body hurt. So worth it though. And my hand felt fine actually, but I only used it for pushing myself up on the board basically, so that’s good. 
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So very focused on getting up on the board.

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Riding back to the hotel on the beach.

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This place is just so beautiful that I barely have words for it.

After sleeping like a baby that night from being so exhausted, I had set my alarm for 6:15, since I knew that the sunrise was at 6:30. I forced myself out of bed to walk the 50 meters to the beach. Growing up on the west coast of Sweden I’ve seen my fair share of sunsets into the ocean, but never a sunrise coming out of it.
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Pelicans trying to find some breakfast.

It was beautiful and well worth getting up for. After another surf lessons, which was just as much fun as the first, I decided to go for a bike ride. I ended up at the St Augustine lighthouse, and decided to talk up to the top.
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Such a nice view but I thought it was pretty scary. I usually don’t get scared of heights but I couldn’t go close to the railing here. I stood frozen against the walls! 

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SO HOT! I was sweating out of every pore. It’s been 33-37 degrees every day here.

My last day in St Augustine was on the Sunday, which I celebrated with being able to sleep in for the first time since I came to the states (08:40!) and after lunch I decided to head over to St Augustine Alligator Farm. I had really wanted to see them out in the wild, but couldn’t find any good tours around this area. Anyway, I got on the bike and everyone kept staring at me. I think it’s because I actually wear a helmet when cycling on the road, no one else does here. They don’t even wear helmets on their motorcycles. Weird.

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I’m a bit torn about zoo’s in general, since they’re usually too small and not very good for the animals. I thought this one was okay though, but it still felt like they didn’t get enough space to move around.
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An albino alligator. Apparently it’s good luck to see them, so I’ll have lot of luck from now on. It might just as well have been a statue though, since they don’t move around a lot. 
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It was crazy hot though, so I didn’t stay very long. 37 degrees is a bit too much for me, even when I’m not cycling longer distances.

But yeah, I love Florida. It’s so amazingly beautiful here, the beaches are amazing, the waves are great and I could stay here for much longer. But I can’t, because now I’m heading west! I have looked up a route I’m kind of planning to take, but I’m open to suggestions! My first real stop will be New Orleans, before I continue towards Grand Canyon and some other amazing national parks. I can’t wait! On August 15 I have to be in Santa Clara to see Taylor Swift with a friend coming from Sweden, but then I have a few more days of exploring California before my parents arrive to San Francisco on the 21st, where we’ll be for a few days before heading to Los Angeles. I’m so excited about the months I have left here, this is going to be one epic road trip…
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Comments

  1. Saskia says

    37 degrees?? wow, i could really need some more degrees over here. and esp Sun! it’s cloudy and not really nice. But i hope it’s going to be great soon.

    your road trip is going to be HUGE! it’s so exciting to follow your adventure. even i feel adventurous through reading 😀 hahaah. you should definitely going for a rafting session. i bet this would be fun. and being torn about zoos i completely understand. on the one hand they don’t live in their natural environment and on the other hand sometimes (good) zoos are the only place trying to save the species diversity.

    and omg, those beaches. i really can’t tell how jealous i am. i want to jump right into the sea, right now! it’s great to see that you enjoyed your time in Florida as much as you did. and there are so many wonderful and beautiful places you are going to see in the upcoming month. it’ll be fun.

    also i completely understand that you feel lonely from time to time. or well, have the lack of a great good and deep conversation. at least i would feel the need. the idea of sitting with a great companion on the beach having a nice wine and talk about everything you have to experienced so far. talking about your hopes, wishes and every great thing happened to you, as well sharing all the worries and loneliness. But then again, you are probably going to meet so many great people. and some of them might have a bigger impact on you than others. But surely you are going to have a great time!

  2. Ingegerd Alvbring says

    Surely the sand in Florida is white as snow! It is so fun to read about your adventures and see all the great pictures. New Orleans next. It is such an amazing place, my favourite city in the US. I am sure you will love it, the French Quarters, music coming out of every open window. Your new route is very exciting!

  3. Mamma says

    I’m so happy that you have so many encouraging and enthusiastic (don’t know how that spells) followers, especially Saskia, Anita and Ingegerd. Thank you from the bottom of my heart ❤ I can’t wait to see pictures from New Orleans, I’m so excited too!

    • Anita says

      Can you imagine if all of the “so many encouraging and enthusiastic followers” were to all be in one place at the same time?! I can hear the laughter, all talking at once, asking questions, giving encouragement, telling stories… Cecilia, I imagine after just a little while, you’d be saying to yourself, “Yes, I do like traveling alone. Quietly… ALONE (They wear me out)!” Hugs and good wishes to you Cecilia, to family and friends. <3

    • Ingegerd Alvbring says

      But the most encouraging of all is you, my dear sister, Cecilia ‘s supportive Mamma! Together we enjoy her stories and try to push her along her sometimes lonely but oh so exciting trail. You are a great Mother!

Send some encouragement!