To Cali or Bust - Part IV: Up to Davis

I left Mom's house New Year's Eve and traveled to the train station after getting a temporary filling for my tooth that cracked from a popcorn kernel. The little bits always matter, don't they?

After tearful goodbyes, which involved a grand total of 0 tears this time, I boarded the train, climbed the stairs to the second story and plopped down next to a fun-looking group who was playing DnD, but a version of DnD called BSDnD.

BSDnD is a form of DnD, which, for the uninitiated, is a role-playing game which involves collaboration, betrayal, luck and the tyranny of whichever DM is leading your session right now. It's pretty much a Thanksgiving dinner but all in your mind.

I talked to the DM, who called herself "Spite" (not out of spite) and was part of an actual Sith legion as an engineer. She led the group into orc territory, and through a blood ritual that would clear a lake with the blood of the innocent and a juicy, plump apple.

I couldn't quite understand whether the Sith was a tabletop role-playing group or a LARP she belonged to, but she seemed to enjoy talking about it. She was a high-ranking engineer which made her a leader in her group.

Soon, she de-trained, and I took her place and got to know the others in the group. They had just met her on a bus before the train, coming up from Bakersfield towards San Francisco. The three of them were related, A brother, a sister, and her boyfriend, all three from Chicago.


Jenelle studies Yoga in Chicago, teaching it to a class of people over there. Her demeanor was comfortable and affectionate, and you could see genuineness about her. I felt comfortable asking her questions, and sharing about my life.

Her boyfriend, Avi, was a poi-spinner, which are balls of fire you can spin to create effects. This is usually done at music festivals. It takes practice, he was telling me, and it can bring you to different places in the world to perform. He mentioned that he's been to some music festivals and has practiced for a while.

Her brother Christopher was an interesting soul. He dropped out of college to travel around the world at one point, to Eastern Asia and South America, and currently lives in San Francisco with his partner. He's been through a couple minimum-wage jobs and continues to explore different lifestyles. We chatted about college, exploration, and where the two intertwine. I asked him personal advice towards travelling, and received some good answers. I've been growing cold and tired of studying one specific thing, expected to meet the needs of others to fill a role in a department.

I've begun to lose my creativity in order to make room for school projects, and I'm tired of it. I need to explore, to gain new experiences and I ask people who have explored about their process whenever I see them. As part of a decision based on a developing philosophy, I will not grow up fitting a role someone else wants for me. I will explore new places, new things and share them here so that when I am elderly, I will never have to think "should I have explored more while I was younger?" I will know that I have done what I could and I wouldn't do more, becoming a person of my own right, separate from defined roles made out for me.

From a personal development perspective it was refreshing to see a trio of people who didn't care what others thought of their path and were comfortable exploring their environment and their humanity. I want to surround myself with such people, who can lead themselves and collaborate with others towards a common goal. Who self-actualize and understand that in order to gain fulfillment, you must stay present, enjoy the moment, and know how to plan for the future, following your own path and altering it as needed. Self-directed, exploratory people, so that the travelling lifestyle is available to me, the support for exploration would be right there should I continue to dive into it.

Next post I'll show you my New Year's activities and you'll meet two long-standing friends of mine. Later on, I'll show you my hometown and we'll travel to another part of the US next week. I'm looking forward to it, folks!


But before I go, what is an experience you've gained on public transportation you will never forget? Email me at, and comment it here.

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