Almost inevitably, simply as a function of living in the modern world, your daily life is loaded with stress. If you let them, emails, work calls, and the grind of responsibilities will dominate your very existence. There’s always something to do — some errand to run or form to fill out. Unless you prioritize the outdoors, it can be easy to realize you’ve gone months without a hike or trip to the beach.
That’s the bind Uproxx’s Steve Vasquez finds himself in. He lives in Los Angeles, and while the sunny city may bring to mind a laid-back poolside vibe, his work schedule is often too intense to allow much breathing room.
“Growing up, I used to go to the beach all the time,” Vasquez says. “But I probably only go like four times a year now.”
To combat his disconnect from the natural world, Steve is spending the month searching for wild, iconic experiences — all within a stone’s throw of a major U.S. city. These adventures are totally accessible, while still offering a break from the day-to-day hustle. Serious escapes with minimal travel time.
In this episode of Adventure Rx, Steve heads to San Francisco, where Chef Taku Kondo offers to guide him on a foraging excursion along the nearby kelp beds. They’re looking for sushi ingredients — plucked right from the source. The goal? To plan a meal around ingredients that they can find at the beach.
Kondo is unique as a chef. He ventures into the wild on a weekly basis to search for fresh seafood to use in his creations — proving that sustainable and locally foraged ingredients can deliver high-end taste and quality. With this aim, Kondo and Vasquez start their trip by driving up to Pigeon Point Light station, about an hour outside of the San Francisco city center. Bundled against the ocean breeze, they graze tide pools, teeming with life, for fresh seaweed and mussels.
There’s a thrill to this adventure — an unexpected sense of discovery and pride that you don’t get in a grocery store or even a local fish market.
“Hey, Steve, come here!” Kondo yells at one point, having just found a massive rock crab. “This thing will crush your fingers!” he adds casually, before thrusting his bare hand into the water to catch it.
Watch above, as the two friends steam their finds in a pot of seawater, right on the beach, to make a California roll that’s actually a reflection of, well, California. It’s a culinary adventure Steve’s sure to remember for a long time and a much-needed break from his daily grind.