Trust me, moving to San Francisco when you’ve never even been here before is a scary, exciting, exhausting, mentally-draining, trying, thrilling, riveting, adventuresome, life-changing and culture-shocking process. I’ve generously listed out some reasons why to do it (mostly for my own convincing really. 🙂
- It’s border-line crazy and a little out of left field.
- You get cold feet and question your sanity –– or what’s left of it. You also probably wonder if you’re losing your hair. And you experience a range of emotions that require sacrifices or opportunity costs.
- You most likely have to sell your wheels and most of your belongings before you get out here.
- You’re ONLY allowed to check two free bags, max.
- You probably have to bite the bullet and sell your car.
Paying the shipping fare to California costs anywhere from $1,000 to 5,000 dollars and cars are not really SF-friendly. I said goodbye to Ruby, and hello to a guy from Craigslist named Chris. I sure hope he’s as swell as his ad.
- You purposely book a one-way flight that doesn’t return. Southwest has super cheap flights, FYI. My one-way flight was a buck fifty.
- You adjust to the jet lag and 3-hour Pacific time zone change.
- You become a “transplant” and are labeled as such.
The one friend I knew coming out here, Rima, filled me on the lingo right away. Transplant was a common term affectionately used for “out-of-town-counterparts.” Little did I know how right she was. On Day #2 at a mixer downtown, my name was tagged “Transplant Lauren.” I’m still called “Transplant Lauren” and have a feeling I will be for a while.
- You shift your mindset when it comes to age. Out here, age is just a number out here –– whether it be 28, 32 or 41 – and the Bay somehow makes you younger in spirit every day. There’s actually a term for that I found out on my first day: Peter Pan Syndrome.
- Anything goes really means anything goes.
On Day #3, I bumped into a flight instructor at Walgreen’s who offered me sky diving lessons over the wineries in Marin County. I almost took him up on it –– but thankfully did not.
- You adjust to some basic realities.
There are more murals, hippies, cyclers and recylers, permanent coffee stains, endless festivals, ever-existent music scores, swash-buckling, jacket-weather fiends and techies existing here than Google will ever tell you.
Yet, moving to San Francisco on a whim, has been one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself (besides taking that self-discovery road trip to New Orleans in 2011.)
It’s really just as everyone describes: An amalgamation of every creature of human species. Living under a laid-back California, terra cotta-styled roof. Where it never seems to rain. For sure.