A little over two years ago, we landed in San Francisco, excited but also nervous to start a new life halfway across the world in a place we had only ever visited once before and in a city where we didn’t know a single person. That day, two years ago, feels like a lifetime ago but at the same time, I can’t believe how quickly these past two years have gone. For some parts, San Francisco still feels quite new – we are still meeting new people, trying new restaurants, exploring new areas (especially the area into which we recently moved) and planning trips to places we haven’t yet visited. While on the other hand, it feels so familiar – we know our way around, often return to our favorite restaurants and bars, have friends who we see regularly and each time I leave San Francisco, I return feeling more and more like I’m returning home. In fact, I was even excited to return to San Francisco after my trip to Johannesburg (the only other place that has ever been my home) earlier this year.
Being excited about San Francisco is however somewhat of a new feeling for me. For the first few months I loved living in San Francisco – everything was new and exciting and it basically felt like I was on holiday. But then reality set in and I started to miss the familiarity of Johannesburg. I became rather indifferent about San Francisco complaining mostly that it’s too expensive, too small and too cold. But the funny thing is, the longer I stay here, the less I find myself complaining and the more I wonder how I got so lucky to live in such a fantastic place.
San Francisco is an incredibly beautiful city with its colorful Victorian homes, famous golden bridge, crooked streets and cable cars clamoring up the many hills which offer spectacular views from the top!
It’s location is unbeatable – surrounded by water, wine farms, mountains, lakes and woods adds to the beauty of the city and means that weekends can be spent doing anything from lying on the beach to sipping wine in the sun to sailing in the Bay or even hiking or skiing.
Trading my 1 hour drive to work each morning in Johannesburg for a lovely 25 minute walk to work in San Francisco really makes me appreciate the smaller size of the city. Plus, having just 49 square miles of city, means that when you’re in the city, you can walk almost everywhere soaking up the city vibe but that it’s also easy enough to escape the city when the fog creeps in.
Honestly, the weather doesn’t even bother me that much any more. Mostly because we just had such a beautiful bright and sunny winter and spring and now that I have the right jacket, I can basically wear my preferred uniform of jeans and a t-shirt all year long!
So although I do still miss my friends in South Africa terribly and spending time with them in March was just so good for the soul, there really is something very special about the City by the Bay and I have to say that I’m very happy to now call San Francisco home.