NEWSLETTER.  ABOUT.  CREATIVE STUDIO. 



JONAH MALIN
Copywriter creating offbeat art & insight.

#12: move across the country, spend too much money, and disappoint people.

We drove for three days from Chicago to San Diego.

Through the golden fields of Nebraska. Grabbed a beer with friends in Denver. Found the best damn wings we’d ever tasted in Aspen. Walked across grey sand in Utah as the sun rubbed her eyes and woke up.

Our Jeep was filled with essentials only; Bennie (the dog) who we refer to as Beanz, Beez, or Beezus, two suitcases, and my shelf-stable protein sources of tinned fish and protein bars.

Every morning brought stiff backs and large cold brews.

Every evening brought tired eyes and anxious thoughts.

The final stop on our drive was a winery in Temecula. As we sat on a patio overlooking gorgeous acres of vines and hills, sipping on crisp wine, I was confident in our decision.  

We chose San Diego for the weather. But also for a change of pace. We’d spent two years in Washington DC where humans live to work. Before that, Chicago, where humans seem to be running late to a party you’re not invited to.

Later that day we pulled up to Date Street and lugged our small collection of things into unit 541. Through our window, you can see palm trees and the famous blinking red lights of the “El Cortez” hotel.

In the weeks that followed, we explored beaches, cafes, shops, markets, parks, and bars. We became more familiar with our neighborhood. There’s the off-leash dog park in Balboa. Trendy shops in La Jolla. A beach in Coronado where the sky perfectly meets the water and you can walk inside its mirror.

We visited Temecula once more, and I got down on one knee to propose to my best friend. In between sobs, she nodded “yes” and wrapped her arms around me in the warmest embrace I’ve ever felt.

Now it’s 12:46 a.m. on my fourteenth Sunday here. 

Bennie is tucked into the tightest nook between my leg and the couch. He’ll occasionally adjust to get a bit more comfortable, look at me with his beautiful brown eyes, then fall back into a dream.

After years of putting it off, my vision for a book is finally coming together. My now fiancées passion for photography has returned.

This is the place where life changed for us. 

Is it expensive? Hell yes. Was saying goodbye to our families (again) easy? Hell no.

Sometimes you just need to move across the country, spend too much money, and disappoint people to find yourself.

But I digress.