I thought about swimming my way home, but figured it would be easier just to fly. Photo by Shendell Hay on Rottnest Island, Western Australia.

Returning home has been a bittersweet process, but after over 14 months away, it feels good to be back in Cardiff by the Sea. I’ve been back in town for less than 24 hours, and have been far too tired to even leave the house, but I began comprising a list of things I want to do as soon as I get over the jetlag. There are obviously all of the chores I need to get done, like unpacking and sorting out administrative stuff, but I figured that can wait a few days while I do all my favorite Californian activities.

1.  Eat Mexican food

I know I’ve mentioned this plenty of times before, but man oh man have I missed our amazing Mexican food. Less than an hour after my plane landed at LAX, I had a burrito in my hand. Now that I’m back in San Diego, I’ll be attempting to eat as much Mexican food as I can for the next week or so.

2.  Catch up with friends and family

This is a no-brainer. I am so lucky to have had a good amount of my friends visit me in Australia, but for many reasons, some of them weren’t able to make the trip overseas. Thanks to the internet, it was easy to stay in touch with people, but I am so excited to see everyone face-to-face!

3.  Surf my home breaks

All of the places I surfed abroad were epic, but there’s definitely no place like home. I can’t wait to surf Cardiff, Pipes, and Swamis again! Hopefully, last winter was a fluke, and we actually get some swell next season. See you guys out there!

4.  Do some fall shopping

Technically, I just came from wintertime in Australia, but Byron Bay is even warmer than San Diego in the winter. I made it through the entire winter in a spring suit and didn’t have to wear sweatpants once. However, before I left home I did a big cull of clothes I no longer needed, and now I’m left with mostly summer clothes! I’m looking forward to a wardrobe reboot - and to see all the friendly faces at Hansen’s!

5.  Play with my dog

It seems like we’re all big dog lovers around here, so I know you guys can agree that leaving your dog is one of the hardest parts of traveling! As soon as I saw my dog Ruby, I became emotional because I missed her so much. The good news is, supposedly, dogs don’t really register how long we’ve been gone, so although she was aware I’d left, apparently she has no clue I’d been away for more than just one day. However, I feel guilty, so I will give her lots of pets and cuddles!