Thanksgiving 2012 road trip from Stanford to LA – summary and pictures

Roadtrip - Stanford to LA via San Luis Obispo
This is a summary of my thanksgiving road-trip. This is an attempt to document an entire trip after it’s done – something I’ve failed to do every time in the past. Not only am I writing a summary, I wrote a couple of posts from the road.

  1. Thanksgiving break – impromptu trip
  2. Of final papers, sleeping in hostels and writing
  3. On why I blog


What I learnt from this trip:

  • Hostels – Wonderful places to stay. I usually stay in hotels. On my world trip with Genya, we only stayed in Hiltons and Kempinsky’s. I have to admit, I’ve realized that I enjoyed staying in the hostels and for the future, I’m going to first find a hostel to stay in. The two hostels I stayed in – HI Hostel Obispo and HI Santa Monica. The latter was amazingly clean and was almost like a hotel. I met cool people in both. In the first one, I shared a room with two other german girls who were backpacking from the East and headed up north. In the latter, when I woke up, the guy on the upper bunk, peered down and said, man, you are one hell of a snoring machine.

hostel room - Santa monica international hostel - saad bhamla

santa monica hostel - breakfast hall

breakfast -



  • Malibu – Beautiful stretch of road. I want to take my bike and ride all along Highway 1 in that stretch. I’m adding this in my goals for 2013. (video below). (Also reinforced how much I just enjoy driving. I find it exhilarating and I can’t explain why.)

  • While I was leaving San Luis Obispo, I didn’t have a plan. My strategy was to just follow road signs and do what felt interesting. I hit upon this beach called Oceano Dunes, where it turns out you could rent ATV’s to ride in the sand dunes. Since I’ve never ridden one of these, I did. It was a fun break from driving for a while.



  •  I did see a peculiar video – of a pelican diving into the ocean. I found this quite fascinating. I came back and read about it some more. There is an interesting article from the Journal of Ornithology from 1975 which described this pelican diving activity in great detail. They have some underwater images of the bill blowing up which are just fantastic. I’m amazed at this bird’s ability to catch fish in this fashion.

Well. That’s all I got. I had a wonderful time on the road. In the end, I’m glad I made the trip. This trip wouldn’t have happened without the inspiration and gentle nudge from CE and MB – two amazing people in my group.



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