It’s a city known to draw in foodies and tech savvy types with a few old school hippies still wandering through the Haight.
Growing up, we all came to know and love the Victorian style row houses so prominently featured on Full House, and we all secretly hoped that if we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge into the city, we too would tap into the power to see the future like Raven Baxter.
San Francisco is a city like no other, and still, the first thing anyone asked when I mentioned my trip was, “why San Francisco?”.
The entire time I was on my trip, I thought about this blog post. I thought I would recount every detail of my bike ride across the bridge into Sausalito, my hike out to Lands End, and the many incredible stores full of vintage designer pieces I could never afford. I planned to tell you with incredible depth and detail all about wandering through the Mission, eating the most amazing dinners ever, every night, and almost splurging on the Rebecca Minkoff bag of my dreams in Union Square. I wanted to tell you which sections of the city I preferred (SoMa), and tell you all about riding the Muni so that I felt like a local; I wanted to take up a thousand blog posts, I wanted you all to live the trip in its entirety with me.
Then I realized this trip was strangely personal to me; it was inexplicably life changing, and whenever I did try to convey that to others, it was obvious that they didn’t quite understand. So for the most part, I’m going to keep the details to a minimum. Instead, I’m going to answer that question, “why San Francisco?” because now that I’ve been, it’s even easier to explain.
I’ve never been in love before, not with a person for sure, but I tend to think that finding a place you love can be maybe just as important as finding a person to love.
For the past year or so, I have been drawn to cities known for freethinking, liberal minded individuals with cultural and artistic havens for their residents. San Francisco was in no way the only city on this list, but somehow, as time ticked by, San Francisco called louder. It was adamant in wanting me in its streets, and I was equally adamant about getting there.
Once there, I realized even more how perfect this city is for me. I grew up in the south, and I understand that that’s the place for a lot of people, but for me, it’s never felt quite right. This place felt differently.
The people are genuine in San Francisco. You know their kindness is true. It is a big city, but it manages to make you feel incredibly safe. There’s an unspoken mindset that the people of San Francisco all seem to share, it’s a way of thinking that promotes life alignment, chasing your passions and finding your own happiness. San Francisco doesn’t promote propriety or social norms, instead this city, and its people, promote honesty, openness, innovation, and creativity in every way imaginable. It does so in a way that makes you know that people are inherently themselves; you know you’re getting a true picture of someone, and that truth is refreshing and encouraging. It’s a city where a person like me, who loves to stand out, can stand out exactly as I am, while simultaneously fitting in perfectly. It’s a beautiful thing to know that a place like that exists and that along with such an incredibly encouraging mindset the place also has forests, beaches, and a cool, unique urban atmosphere downtown.
I felt at ease in San Francisco, like I’d been there my entire life. I felt like I could finally breathe. I felt my heart beating along with the thousands of others who call that place home. It’s a common expression to say that finding the person you are meant to love is like dropping your keys on the counter after a long, stressful day; it just seems right, and for me, San Francisco just seemed right. Leaving was more difficult than leaving anywhere should be; a piece of me is there now, and I long to go back for it, to make myself whole again in the city that I fell so in love with.
I can’t say for certain that I’ll ever get back to San Francisco. I feel like I will, and I feel like I will be there for more than just another vacation, but unlike Raven Baxter, I can’t see the future. Regardless, I love that city. I am tied to that city forever. My life is different because of that city. I know I can choose to be myself, disregarding societal norms and propriety when needed, and I know that I can still be accepted despite my many unique quirks. Cheers to San Francisco for showing me another way of life. It may be difficult to understand what I mean if you’ve never been there, or if San Francisco isn’t your city soul mate.
Maybe you don’t have a city soul mate, maybe even I don’t have a city soul mate, whatever the case, I’m happy to share a little of my experience with you in the form of pictures and words, and I hope you enjoy my memories because I certainly enjoyed making them.
What do you guys think? Are you a fan of San Francisco? What other cities do you all love? Where should I travel to next? Or where should I make sure to go when I’m back in SF? Let me hear it in the comments section.
Photo Credits: all my own