It'd be nice to settle near a beach- make it a thing to go there every Sunday with family and friends then go home and have dinner together. Walk back up the beach and take our bikes from the rack, baskets filled with towels, sunscreen bottles and cameras.

Bike a few blocks constantly interrupted, but not bothered, by friends closing down shop for the day. The dust particles rising from the shrub-lined roads can be seen in the setting sunlight.

Finally getting home, no matter if it's to an old apartment or a decent house and sitting around the table, or on the floor eating dinner with everyone. Friends who became family, neighbors and new people. The only way people realize it's late is because the movie ends and the food is gone. The street lamp-lit pathway back home is a short one for the guests, and the new week rolls in.

I love the dirty, not exactly wealthy, but perfectly happy, tight circle of friends, usually muted music from the radio, sometimes open sliding door when there was live music down the street, the applauses, clothes washed out from the sun, sandy flip flops, broken sunglasses, windows, doors, beds, failed authentic cooking attempts, airplanes full of excited tourists that might end up like me, bathing suits hung up on the rusty balcony railing, the top piece fallen in the yellow grass four floors down for me to pick up later, braided hair, anklet I've had on for four years kind of life.

Getting excited hearing there's a concert in the city and weekend festivals, camping out, no matter how big the artist performing is. Finding that one hole in the wall place with amazing food and becoming regulars at a nearby cafe. Owning an art gallery and instead of doors, have curtains and lemon water for everyone and have it be a cool hangout with cool art. Dancing in the streets to my bluetooth speaker (prized possession) with my friends and beloved camera strapped around my neck.

Getting home to be welcomed by my dog. The beach volleyball tournaments, some entered for fun, some to win! The taxi trips into the city and walks to the mountains, with backpacks of water, apples and maps. Meeting family and friends at my airport with smiling faces, excited to share with them my new family and finding them semi-working bikes for the Sunday trips to the beach.

The artwork in my house- all originals, made by my friends and I on nothing-to-do Wednesday nights with soft music in the background and a bowl of amazing, handmade tortilla chips because that's what my one friend does best, he brought some home from the restaurant he owns.

I don't need an alarm to wake up, especially on the weekends because the rumble of cars, voices, distant waves, music and birds are there. Tattered lanyards and items tossed haphazardly around the kitchen. The Christmas lights, handmade pottery from saturday classes at the beach and polaroid pictures- some framed, some not, make it my home.

Maybe when I'm on my spider-webbed balcony, wind blowing the pages of my book I'm revising before publishing, only one headphone in so i can hear the calm bustle of the streets, colorful tapestry shifting with the breeze through the stuck sliding door I can't figure out how to shut completely, a permanent tan, shattered glass from a vase that accidentally fell a couple days ago and the outline of the clouds on the mountains, sometimes the faint silhouette of a parasailer and that one bright star that's actually the planet Venus shining every night, some money hanging around from finally selling that painting and a bowl of fresh pineapple from the morning market, maybe even on Christmas morning on the beach, I'll be able to explain why this life is the best for me.

Honestly, I dont care about the big white house on a lake with perfect everything, fresh fruit on the granite countertop, that I’ve always pictured in my future. I don't need my kids to have brand name clothing and a strict schedule. I need a change in lifestyle, and as a seventeen year old entering college next year, I know this can't happen anytime soon, but a girl can dream. My plan is to put in work so I can have this enjoyable life I desire. What will matter in twenty years, when I'm looking back on my life and experiences? I think I'll value hiking trips more than how clean my kitchen table was. As I've grown, I've came to understand money and wish-listed items don't make a "perfect" life. The people and what you decide to surround yourself with do. Go make your perfect life.