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Australia & Oceania, Memoir, Nth America & Caribbean

Pacific coasts and beyond

View to right of Santa Barbara Mission, USA © Sara Moss

The vast swell of the Pacific Ocean lies between Queensland and California. An air trip between Brisbane and Los Angeles arcs over islands and shipwrecks and reefs. The ocean cleaves — in both senses of the word — two cultures which many would argue are increasingly similar. On a day where the sky over Brisbane has been the broadest, polished kind, I recall a similar expanse of Californian blue across the heavens. There’s openness to get lost in, the sense of the horizons being a trick of the eye, a road that just keeps going.

I took the photo to the left in Santa Barbara, California, next to the Mission first built by Franciscan monks in 1786. The road’s heading east, with a whole lot of country traced beneath its bitumen. Just as I depressed the shutter I wanted to walk that road. But there were other plans and booked tickets and finite resources. It was some time before the momentum urging me eastwards dissipated. I promised then I’d surrender next time. It is exquisite to just go.

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