Nice to meet you. (Photo: Shannon Paras)

The short version:

Hi, I’m Julia. I write Coast & Climb, a mindful lifestyle blog that you have discovered out here in the wilderness of the Internet. Thank you for visiting! Lifestyle blogs typically cover stuff like travel, food and entertaining, fashion and beauty, nature and the outdoors, current events—basically a sampling of activities and ideas, depending on what the blogger is interested in. Coast and Climb does that too, but I like to use those topics as a jumping off point to explore the deeper meanings and connections that swim around below the surface of our daily lives. That’s where the mindful part comes in—I’m big on paying close attention, poking around under the hood, and pondering how it all fits together.

I hope that Coast and Climb entertains you, or gives you a little laugh, or inspires you to get curious about what makes your own life tick. These are interesting times, and years from today, people are going to ask us what on earth was going on back in 2020, and what it all meant. I figure we might as well start thinking about our answers now.  

The long version:

Hello! I’m Julia, a lifelong writer, nature lover, enthusiastic food consumer, and creator/writer of Coast and Climb. I’m so glad you’re here.

Coast and Climb is a mindful lifestyle blog that covers many topics, but originally I thought it was going to be about my love of California’s natural landscapes—from the beaches to the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, and everything in between. I loved the title, but I quickly realized there were a whole bunch of things that I wanted to write about that had nothing to do with those particular places, at least not directly: food and cooking, TV shows, maybe a little fashion or music, and travel, art…the list kept getting longer.

Finally, I decided that what I wanted to create was a container that could hold whatever thoughts or observations I felt like sharing, on any topic, at any time. Those things tend to fall into a few broad categories (mostly nature, food, culture, and identity), but there’s room for everyone at the party. What I’m most interested in is what’s going on below the surface of our daily lives–in our personal experiences and our shared reality. How are we relating to the world around us? How are we making meaning, making sense, finding connection? This is a wild time to be alive, and 30 years from now, when younger family members or sexy aliens or kindly strangers ask me what life was like in 2020, and what it all meant, I want to have some decent answers. Or at least some good stories.

I still love the title Coast and Climb. It reminds me of what George Leonard says in his book Mastery, about finding fulfillment through the pursuit of excellence. On your journey, you’ll have periods where you don’t feel like you’re accomplishing much, when you’re coasting along, noticing and contemplating. And there will be other times when you feel like you’re surging ahead, climbing a tall mountain, taking bold action. Both are essential in mastering a particular skill, and in living a satisfying life. Paradoxically, it’s often during the times of slow movement, when we’re just watching the waves, quietly absorbing the motion, when we actually grow the most. With this blog, I’m taking space to notice all of it, the lows and the highs, the slow and the fast– and hopefully learning something about what makes life meaningful along the way.