The coastline is only inches in my reach, showcasing the blue shimmering water below. Daisy, our yellow Volkswagen convertible, has the top down and our hair is flying through the wind, and we’re singing along to blasting music. This is a moment I’ll never forget; a moment too good to be true.

For my first, and last, spring break trip during college, my best friend and I travelled to California. From the moment we stepped off the plane to the day we left, we were running around non-stop from one point to the next.

We visited the snow-capped mountains in Lake Tahoe and swam in hot springs with 104 degree water, hiked eight miles throughout Point Reyes and marveled at the giant Redwood trees in Muir Woods. At night, we watched the sunset along the beach, took a trolley ride throughout San Francisco and walked alongside the famous Golden Gate Bridge. In San Francisco, aside from the touristy spots like Lombard Street and Chinatown, we also scoped out some interesting hidden gems. These included mosaic steps overlooking the city and concrete street slides out of view in a little neighborhood.

However, throughout the eight day trip, by far my favorite day was our road trip along the California coastline. With the help of Daisy and our friend driving, we spent 10 hours adventuring to the state’s best hideaways. We started at Bodega Bay and made our way up through Salmon Creek, Occidental, Sonoma Coast State Park, Gualala, Jenner, Little River and ended up at Fort Bragg’s Glass Beach.

Along the way, we were completely taken aback by the view. There were no guard rails along the coast at some point, and the car twisted and turned on windy roads passing mountains, oceans and beautiful landscapes. Everything seemed to be so surreal to the point where I felt like I was viewing a painting, rather than reality.

This trip was not only amazing because of the places we had the chance to discover, but because I’ve never been off the East Coast before. In one day, I traveled across the country, which was an experience in itself. The trip was planned last minute, making it all the more exciting, and although we had some destinations planned out, others we came across by accident.

Although it’s typical for college students to get away to luxurious resorts in islands like Puerto Rico or the Bahamas, I’m glad we did something a little out-of-the-box. Not only did I get to hang by the beach, but I was also able to travel to so many different places over the course of one week. I’ve seen Northern California in all of its climates, was reunited with family I haven’t seen in over ten years, and made some memories I’ll be able to cherish forever.

Sometimes, it’s important to remember to go out of your comfort zone and take a risk. Be spontaneous and open-minded when traveling–you’ll end up in some amazing places.