When most of us hear the word commune, we’re likely to imagine hippies, drugs, peace signs, and other 60’s stereotypes. Ever seen the movie Wanderlust? Hilarious film, and those are the kinds of people that I think of. When my friend told me he was moving into a California commune, those were the first things that came to my mind.
I visited the commune during my first solo adventure out to California. I’m not going to lie, I was really nervous about what I was getting myself into. Were there going to be a bunch of stoned hippies lining the sofas? I know, so stereotypical!
When I drove up to the house, it was an old but rather large home that looked almost like a little hotel. Upon walking in I noticed a ton of eclectic decorations gracing the back yard and deck areas. While I can’t remember many exact details, I recall the pool table perched inside of the fenced in yard. There were lots of bikes placed neatly around the perimeter of the yard too.
The inside of the home was even more interesting. There were about 20 rooms in the house and only a few bathrooms. Each bathroom was painted in a different way, each having its own theme. Bright colors, unique decor, and seemingly random pieces of furniture were strewn about the house. There were photos of people who had lived there in the past and present, lining the walls. There was even a chore schedule to make sure that everyone did their part in taking care of the house.
The first time I visited there were only a few people home out of the 20 that were living there. The few people I met were so friendly and welcoming. No signs of tie dye or peace signs. Nothing “weird” about anyone except for the fact that they were 100x friendlier than the average stranger out East.
It was really amazing to see how relaxed everyone was together. I almost felt guilty for walking in there with such strange expectations. The vibe was much different than I expected and also much different than anything I had ever experienced before.
I spent a good bit of time talking to the roommates that week. I have to say, I really enjoyed the vibe and sense of community I felt there. Maybe it’s because I don’t like people (just kidding – but I do like my privacy), but I don’t know if I could handle living in a house with so many people. Visiting the house was a treat though. I look forward to my next visit, and hopefully I can spend a little bit more time there.