This song was born of a true story told to songwriter Andy Hawk by a friend. The friend (Kevin) worked for an airline many years ago when it was easy to hop a plane flying stand-by.
Kevin woke up one rainy, dreary weekday morning in Columbus, Ohio, and decided to use his day off to grab a plane headed for Phoenix. Once there, he noticed a plane nearby was boarding for San Diego. He managed to make that one, too, and spent a sunny afternoon sitting on a pier, gazing out at the ocean, basking in the warm California air.
He struck up a conversation with a man on the pier, and when the man asked where he was from, Kevin said he was from Columbus. "Oh, well, how long will you be visiting San Diego?"
"I'm going back to Ohio tonight," said Kevin
"You mean you just came out for a few hours?!?!" the man said, a little surprised. "Why would you do that?"
"I'm just chasing the sun, man. Chasing the sun."
When Kevin relayed the story to Andy in the summer of 2006, Andy said, "That's a perfect song title. I'm going to write one called 'Chasing the Sun' and dedicate it to you."
And so he did.