Today marks one year in Santa Barbara. So much has happened in the last year it feels like an eternity and also like yesterday we were packing up the moving truck and heading out of Tahoe and life as we knew it for nearly six and a half years. Between the two of us, we had maybe spent a cumulative of 72 hours in Santa Barbara before calling this place our new home. Santa Barbara was never on our radar and seemed like a mythological, only-in-your-dreams, Oprah-and-friends-only kind of place. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t even sure exactly where Santa Barbara was or how to even get here, ha!
It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to live by the ocean. It was one of those things where every time I thought I would create a reason to make that move, life would present an opportunity that took me another direction. But our move to Santa Barbara is proof to me yet again, that the best is certainly always yet to come. We debated for a long time where to move and while my inner 23 year old was drawn to the West LA beach towns, we both agreed for various reasons that those areas were not the right place for us. It wasn’t until my friend Kristin invited me to stay with her to come check out Ventura that I even knew what beauty existed just 80 something miles north of Los Angeles.
It had been a long time since either of us had to, quite literally, map where we were going to just get to the grocery store. Everything was brand new. But I was enthralled at the idea that Santa Barbara was our oyster and that there was so much to discover. It didn’t take long to get a feel that the community of Santa Barbara is a tight knit one and that quality of life here is top priority, even if it means getting paid in sunshine. It’s big enough to have plenty to do, but small enough where you don’t feel lost in a sea of people or traffic where everyone is trying to make it, or just make it somewhere on time. Around every corner there is something beautiful to marvel at, whether a historic landmark or a well kept park. The Spanish influence in architecture is really something special. Even going to the post office feels like you’re walking into a mission. And my favorite part: the long stretch of ocean and beaches. Being able to walk or run along the ocean every day is not something I take for granted. The palm tree lined beach and beautiful mountain backdrop is a sight that will never get old. It’s no wonder they call this place the American Riviera.
We love having our friends and family come to visit, I get as excited to show them around Santa Barbara as if it were my own first time seeing this magical, little melting pot of a city. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that we got around on bikes most of the summer, as it was my first priority upon moving in to get extra bikes for when guests come into town.
We had a whirl wind of changes in our first year being married and while no transition comes without it’s challenges I’m grateful to say we’ve found our stride here in Santa Barbara and excitedly welcome 2018.
Photos: Kristin Mansky