California, Here I Come!


When I close my eyes, I imagine I’m standing on the grounds of the Self-Realization Fellowship Hermitage in Encinitas, gazing out at the ocean. This is where Paramahansa Yogananda wrote much of his spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi.

I’m excited! On November 29, I’m flying out to Encinitas, California, and don’t plan on returning to Minnesota for five months. I’ve never missed a winter in Minnesota and it’s about time I did.

I’ve also never lived anywhere else in the world. Every place I’ve ever called home is within sixty-five miles of where I live right now. It’s time I busted out of my comfort zone and opened myself up to new experiences.

Where am I going to live? Don’t know. I’m still looking for a cheap room somewhere. I’m going to try to get along with no car and only the most basic necessities. All I care about is being in Encinitas, near the ocean, and far, far away from snow and sub-zero temperatures.

I'm leaving, on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again

Why Encinitas? Because it’s my favorite place on earth. I first visited Encinitas in 2000 and managed to get back there three or four times since. The presence of Paramahansa Yogananda permeates the entire town and I already feel part of the spiritual community there.

Why now? It might be now or never. My married daughter has no children yet, my mom is healthy and I’ve got nothing tying me down to any one place. I can work wherever I’ve got an Internet connection. And perhaps the best reason of all:

It’s time for a new adventure!

Click here to view all my posts about Encinitas.


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30 Responses to “California, Here I Come!”

  1. John Manley | Says:

    Sounds great Phil! I always enjoyed going to Encinitas when I lived at Hidden Valley. It’s a big “town” by Canadian-standards but is probably the closest thing to an SRF paradise.

    A friend of mine from Austria takes his wife and kids there often. They spent five months there last winter. He has a lot of connections and may be able to help you find permanent or temporary accommodations. Drop me an email if you want me to contact him.

    Though, I know they found Encinitas too expensive after a few months, so they moved to Escondido — which is apparently more affordable. You can’t see the ocean, but it’s only 40 minutes away. It has a large temple. Lots of SRFers. And, of course, it’s just down the mountain from Hidden Valley Ashram. So you may consider Enscondido as a back up plan.

    Personally, I’m more into mountains than oceans, so Escondido would be my first choice.

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Good info, John. Thank you! Yes, I’d like to contact your Austrian friend. I’m exploring all options. Thanks so much!

  3. Kathleen Says:

    Though you know I’ll miss you, I am so happy for your leap into what brings you joy! The place you will live will materialize – you manifest what you want well. I hope your time there is all you wish it to be and more! Sending you on the wings of Love!

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    *bows in gratitude*

  5. Cynthia Says:

    Hey Phil, I think it’s great. I plan on doing the same thing but haven’t moved on it yet. You inspire me. Have a blessed journey.

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I’ll do my best, Cynthia. Thanks!

  7. Julia Rogers Hamrick Says:

    Inspired moves are divine! Having just made one of those myself, I affirm for you as warm and wonderful an experience as mine! Savor every nuance of this Phil–magic is in the works…

  8. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Many thanks, Julia. I especially like the “warm” part, as in no more snow! That’s plenty magical by itself!

  9. Roxy Johnstone Says:

    Hi Phil: Encinitas is always my first choice when vacationing in Calif. Its a lovely little town, halfway between San Diego and Newport Beach. There is so much to see and do in that entire area. I can never get enough of the beach, since I am landlocked in Colorado….buuut, who could complain about the Colorado Mountains? :-) The contrast between the two is so invigorating and refreshing. I have been to the Hermitage you speak of….that property is so beautiful. A person could spend all day sitting on one of their benches, looking out over the ocean and wandering thru the gardens. I believe you are right about the influence the Hermitage has on the town. Its what makes this town so appealing. Very authentic and laid back. One day I hope to do what you are doing! Wishing you a fulfilling and happy journey!! RJ

  10. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you, Roxy! I hope to do just that: spend a day sitting in the Meditation Garden gazing out at the ocean. Can’t wait! When my daughter lived in Denver, she said she appreciated the mountains every day. Funny how so many people take for granted the mountains, the ocean or anything else majestic that they see every day of their lives.

  11. Global Patriot Says:

    As you well know, Encinitas is pretty self-contained, and with the new Whole Foods about to open, there will be no shortage of basic commodities within walking distance. Welcome to the neighborhood Phil!

  12. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thanks, G.P.! Love that Whole Foods will be opening!

  13. Velma Says:

    Welcome to the golden shores, where sunsets will knock you off your feet. Check your landing area for summer fire activity, which is very prominent in that area. Glad to have you aboard the California circuit.

  14. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you, Velma!

  15. Michael Galligan Says:

    Wow Phil, really branching out there (tongue in cheek). Sorry, couldn’t resist. As someone on his third Asian country in 10-plus years, I can totally relate to the feeling of excitement one feels when moving to another place far away. Karrie and I have been in Thailand for three months already and feel we’ve barely scratched the surface. There are so many new things to see and do in a new place that it really does give you a fresh perspective on your place in the world. This past week we went on a seven-day bike ride to the north near the Burmese border. It amazes me how people can live such a simple life and be so happy! The 45 countries we’ve visited during the past 10 years ALL have been wonderful eye-openers. My advice to you is soak it in each day, reflect a LOT and take time to smell the roses!

  16. Phil Bolsta Says:

    *bows before the world-traveling greatness of Mike and Karrie* Yes, I’m doing something very exciting in my world, Mike, but when it comes to traveling and experiencing new places I feel like a five-foot rookie going one-on-one against Michael Jordan! You guys amaze me!

  17. Loretta Simonet Says:

    Phil, We will miss you!! What a wonderful place to go – Encinitas – I’m so excited for you. I know it will be wonderful to meditate there.

  18. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you, Loretta! Yes, I’m looking forward to spending an afternoon in the Meditation Gardens reflecting and meditating!

  19. Sumner Scott Says:

    Dear Phil: Good for you! I believe that we are more likely to regret the things we didn’t do than those that we did. You are going to a place where the spiritual side of your nature can thrive.

    As the Poet Robert Herrick wrote “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may”.



  20. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you so much, Sumner. I’ll FedEx you back some rosebuds!

  21. tom Says:

    Dear Phil,

    The writing about your trip reminded of these words by Steinbeck from “Travels with Charlie”…

    “Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; not two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blow-in-the-glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. I feel better now, having said this, although only those who have experienced it will understand.”

    Thanks for reminding me of these words by Steinbeck and my love for travel.
    Have a great trip.

    Sincerely, Tom

  22. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Wise words. I am indeed going with the flow and seeing where it takes me. Trying to exercise too much control rarely ends well. Thanks for the good wishes, Tom!

  23. Gail Fairchild Says:

    Wow, Phil. How exciting for you! I wish you everything wonderful and I look forward to reading more from you during this exciting new journey. Nothing opens the mind, heart, and eyes more than a new vantage point. Best, Gail

  24. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you, Gail. I appreciate the good wishes!

  25. Tom Bakken Says:

    Good Luck. It’s been 33 years since I’ve been in that area so I’m sure it’s changed alittle but it was very nice. I love winter so I’ll think of you while I’m skiing.

  26. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Great to hear from you, Tom! Yes, please think of me while your teeth are chattering and your boots and gloves are filled with snow. Pardon me while I go apply some more sunscreen!

  27. MNCyn Says:

    My friend and I will be 2 hrs 20 minutes away from you for Thanksgiving in Victorville CA. C’mon up if you don’t have anything better to do. :-) It’s an interesting mix of educators and artists and a few random Republicans. :-)

  28. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thanks for the invite, MNCyn! I won’t be arriving in Encinitas until NOV 29. And I’ll be doing my best to get along without a car!

  29. Serena Says:

    If you won’t be driving during your stay in Encinitas, these links might be helpful if you plan to use public transportation:

    We are experiencing some much cooler weather here, so do pack a scarf and a warm jacket. :)

  30. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Much appreciated, Serena. I need to become intimately familiar with public transportation there!

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