I spent the last two weeks in San Francisco. The first time I visiting San Francisco, it immediately felt like home. I flew back to Washington, D.C., quit my job, and moved to San Francisco within two months.
When I left San Francisco after living there for five years to start my digital nomad journey, I didnt really think much about it. I decided to be a digital nomad essentially out of nowhere - I didnt plan it for a year or anything like youre supposed to. An opportunity came up, and I took it. The two months I had to reset my life were filled with lots of work travel, work, packing, and figuring things out. It was intense and I honestly had no time to sit back and reflect on anything.
This time, I arrived to San Francisco from Port Townsend, a quiet small town in Northern Washington where I spent a month and a half resetting after a super intense few months. I was in a super calm mindset - the resetting worked. So I was a bit apprehensive to jump back into the intense grind I had waiting for me in San Francisco.
My hotel was located in downtown San Francisco, which means the area was loud, full of people, full of homeless people, etc. It was quiet a shock coming from the calm Port Townsend. I had an intense week ahead of me - probably the busiest / most important week of the year for my work, so I started off hitting the ground running. By Tuesday, I was burned out. I went to my hotel room at 3pm and stayed there even though there were a lot of events I should have gone to. But i knew I needed the self-care time. Luckily my hotel room was facing an inner courtyard and was quiet. The next day I felt highly refreshed and was able to run a lot faster for the rest of the week than I could have imagined if I didnt take out the me time.
The week was intense, and I was still flustered about being in a city. But on Friday, I sneaked out with two of my good girlfriends to get desert and everything changed. It was so amazing to spend time with good friends. Our state going in after an intense week was were exhausted women just looking to eat chocolate as my friend put it when she called the restaurant to make a reservation. But after spending time together, I felt energized and happy and ready to take on the world. Its so special to spend time with people I love.
As I travel, I meet a lot of people and start friendships, but building long-term good friendships requires a lot of time and effort. It was amazing to have an effortless bond where we could all be comfortable and enjoy our desert and laugh and have a conversation and a good time without thinking about it at all.
My second week in San Francisco was filled with meeting friends like these ones. We met in places that I knew and loved. And I had some time to work out at my favorite fitness classes. Suddenly, San Francisco was home again. Yesterday, as I walked to my friends place on Market St in downtown San Francisco without headphones, I was smiling at all the noise, all the people, and all the homeless people. It was home.
So leaving yesterday was pretty emotional and hard. It was harder than it was when I set out on initial journey leaving everything. I have to go back to being in a place I don't know much, to being uncomfortable, to facing the world alone, to not having my favorite fitness classes or restaurants / food available when I want it.
But of course, as Im writing that, Im just going over to New York for now. I have friends in New York - really good friends. In fact, one of the friends I got desert with in San Francisco lives in New York. And my good friend from San Francisco is coming to visit this week even. Another really good friend is going to be in New York for two months starting next week. I also have friends like this to travel with and to meet everywhere in the world as I do continue to build my relationships.
Ultimately, home is when you get to be with people you care about, and I've been building that into my travel plans through the end of the year