Ain’t time a funny thing! I remember watching episode after episode of Beverly Hills 90210 dreaming of the day that I, like bad boy heartthrob Dylan, could pop down to Baja and enter the “Green Room” as so deliciously explained in episode two of season one.
Sitting in my home in Sydney in Australia I listened to the Beach Boys unfathomably cute hit, California Girls. Though I was confused about whether they wanted all the girls from the world to live in California or girls from California to live all over the world I understood one thing: California girls equal good.
But here we are, some years later, and if you’re like me and you see the latest choice for President as questionable, then you might be looking for a relocation. Canada’s website is already overloaded, so let me give you the pitch for Australia.
The surf is pretty decent, and we speak the same language so there are two strong positives to start.
Our Prime minister (similar to a President) isn’t publicly racist, sexist or grope-y in a I know it, you know it, everyone knows it kind of way. But we do detain refuges in squalor for year upon year and refuse to pay woman equally or let gay people marry, so I wouldn’t get too carried away with our policies.
The weather is okay, typically sunny to the point where you’re likely to pick up a couple of skin cancers over the course of a decade. The further north you are the greater the issue so choose your dot on the map wisely.
Sharks hang around but you’re more likely to die from falling out of bed than a shark attack. People still like to talk about sharks though.
A couple of key places to start considering depending on where you’re from:
Bondi and Manly
Not known for their quality of surf but iconic when you think of surfing in Australia. Bondi and Manly are the ideal switch for the Venice-based surfer. You can still surf, you can definitely drive to good surf but most importantly you can attend parties and other social gatherings with an emboldened status as a surfer. Localism can be tough from not so well-intentioned millionaire property owners who think they have a claim to the beach because they moved closeby 10 years ago. Expect crowds and plenty of social media.
Gold Coast
Is there anything sexier than glitz and glam? I don’t know what those words really mean, but they feel nice to write. The Florida surfer can head to the Gold Coast for a slice of Miami with waves. Fake tans, gold chains, g-strings and casinos, it’ll be enough to help you forget that your own state stabbed you in the back in getting the small-handed misogynist across the line. The Gold Coast is tropical, holds good swells, and plays host to a lot of white people that are heavily into rap music.
Bells Beach
If you don’t mind wearing a steamer for most of the year and long bowl-y rights then Victoria might be more your ticket. In Bells Beach the Santa Cruz surfer can enjoy a laidback lifestyle with crowds that aren’t quite as bad as in the cities but still pretty bad. Ugg boots go great and you’ll see spots of corduroy every now and again to help you feel at home.
Margaret River
Heading over to the West Coast of the country, Margaret River could have been seen as Australian surfing’s hidden gem until the launch of the WSL event. San Fran natives will be heartened by the close proximity to good wine and a rough and rugged coast line. The surf gets big and the crowds ain’t too bad, so think Ocean Beach but it lasts for a couple of hundred kilometers…and you see kangaroos everywhere.