Last week, I dropped everything and went on a last minute escape to Big Sur. I needed it. Living in New York for a while, you get used to things, and probably things that we — as human beings — shouldn’t get used to. Siren wake-up calls subbing for sunrise ones; gusts of wind whiplashed from around building corners or oncoming subway trains; hydrating mist on clear blue skies from air conditioner droplets; vast water views interrupted by (albeit, gorgeous) cityscapes; and bulldozing through endless brigades of pedestrians on the daily. I love New York nonetheless, but you have to admit: we need a break every once in a while. I recall several years back when I got so caught up in work that I was in Manhattan for an entire year without leaving. That’s ridiculous on my part; I’ll admit that. And while the escape doesn’t necessarily have to be out in nature, I do feel that a place far removed from the touch of man where you can experience both land and sea is a great place to regain clarity. And the great part about it: you don’t even have to travel far to get to it. A one-hour train ride north of New York will get you into lush forests and beautiful river views; or a few states up (maybe an hour by plane) in Maine is Acadia National Park. This country is built around magnificent natural wonders. But for this specific purposes, I decided to head to my home state and revisit Big Sur (yes, this is my second time — more on that later), a destination I like to call Indigo inspired by Mr. Burberry’s latest scent.
In partnership with Burberry.
Big Sur was ideal for several reasons. I had to fly in to LA first to work on a job with a dear friend of mine for several days. Planning my escape while I was already out there seemed like a no brainer: fly in to San Francisco – 1 hour; drive to Big Sur – 3 hours. While it seems like a lot of travel and hassle for a quick escape, I actually find driving to be quite therapeutic, especially having grown up in LA driving to and from school, or between my mom’s and dad’s house. So to see the scene unravel as you drive from cityscapes to lush green meadows, rocky shores, and crashing waves helped elongate the short trip (think dipping your toes and gradually entering a pool versus bellow flopping in the deep end — relish every element of bliss!). The other reason is because Big Sur captures every essence of Mr. Burberry fragrance — again, my inspiration for the trip — and all of the energetic citrus and woody notes, as well as depth from its oak moss and amber elements remind me of the crisp, clean, and fresh air I’ve been lacking. So here we are.
The drive is easy and beautiful. If you go in during the weekday and leave before week’s end, traffic will be at a minimum (if any at all). You can stay adjacent to Big Sur National Park, in which I’d recommend the Post Ranch Inn or Ventana; or you can stay in the charming cities of Carmel or Monterey, about 30 minutes north, which is what I did. And if you are to go, go now before the end of May. The wildflowers are in full bloom and the temperature is steady in the late sixties/early seventies. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t go any other time, but the area flourishes all of its glory in the height of spring.
Much of the Big Sur area is comprised of trails with varying ranges of difficulty and few beaches, the latter of which I’d recommend Pfeiffer Beach. Bring $10 cash (don’t forget it) and drive you’re way down the tiny, windy, off-the-beaten-path road to its parking lot where just a few steps away you’ll be barefoot in the iconic purple sands the area bestows (you won’t see much of the color at sunset, which I feel like is the best time to go). I stayed a couple hours just before the orange sky got put to rest and the evening chill began to strengthen. Plus, at this time of day, the beach is virtually empty, so it’s a beautiful place to be to yourself and let your mind go.
If you’re not too tired, I highly recommend waking up early just before sunrise at blue hour and hitting the Big Sur coastline again. You’ll experience the area differently than you did at sunset or high noon (like the photo above). Pull your car over off Highway 1 — there are plenty of places to do so — and simply watch how the colors liven from pure, peaceful darkness to rich, even tones. Invigorating would put the scene lightly.
Last, but certainly not least, I put together my very first video that I’m excited to share with you. I call it “I want to go to Indigo” and you can think of it as a hybrid between a vlog and a short film. As I said before, we so often get caught up in our lives — usually the work side — that time flies and we forget to listen to your bodies and take a break. It’s incredible how much we can still run on the low energy that we end up having; but every once in a while, we need to recharge to 100%. If you’re a workaholic like me, I’m hoping this story will resonate. We need to go to our own versions of Indigo and make it a point to do so often. Hope you enjoy.