Before we took off to Europe, we spentÂ a few weeks with family and friends in Dallas & Nashville. The weeks were filled with family pets, dinners out with parents, snow & ice on the roads and yards, flight delays, dinners with friends, nerf gun fights with nieces & nephews,Â chats with aunts, uncles and grandmothers, walks along urban and rural greenways, trip planning, bike rides on country roads, backyard soft ball, horse shoes & go-karts, vintage trains, swinging, laundry, moving stuffÂ from one place to another, and our fair share of aimless driving. The weather wasn’t perfect and neither were our immune systems, but the quality time with the ones we loveÂ was.
After calling San Francisco home for exactly 5 years and 2 weeks, Nik and I left the Pacific Coast City by the Bay for the final time on Saturday, February 21st, 2015.Â We moved there during the low upswing of the Great Recession which made finding work difficult but finding an affordable apartment in the (currently) most expensive city in our country easy. For that, I am grateful.
Iâ€™m going to missâ€¦
- The year-long spring
- Driving the Vespa through the city and along the coast
- California Family, Friends, Coworkers and Clients
- Opportunities to camp in every direction
- The Pacific Ocean
- Sunsets over the Pacific Ocean
- Karl the Fog blanketing the city
- Everyone having an idea to start a business, and the gumption to do it
- Free and amazing panoramic views from every hilltop
- Walking less than 10 minutes north to The Presidio, 5 minutes south to Golden Gate Park, and 25 minutes west to Ocean Beach
- A grocery store at the corner of our street
- The best Asian food in the US
- Pizzetta 211â€¦our favorite little restaurant
- Wine made with grapes grown less than 30 minutes away
- Friends from near and far wanting to, and sometimes actually, visiting
This is happening. This is really happening. For a couple yearsÂ I didn’t think it would, but it is. It is really happening.
Nik and I are giving ourselves the gift of time. Time to travel. Time to be together. Time to see the world. Time to wander. Time to do nothing. Time to dream.
To prepare, weÂ are giving away a few items, selling a few items, and packing the restÂ into cardboard. We areÂ leaving our jobs, saying goodbye to the friends we have made, saying a brief hello to our families, and then jet setting toÂ the European continent.
We have found the perfect bags and picked out which shoes we want to wear while walking along cobblestones. We have our passports renewed, and international drivers permitsÂ in hand. We have credit cards that won’t charge us $$ to use them, and we have a plan for our cell phones. We have our cameras and our computers, and our websitesÂ have been refreshed.
We have a route we think we want to take, a few dates we want to have with friends and family along the way, and our firstÂ month of accommodations and transportation arranged. We will figure the rest out later.
We do not know where we will live once it is time to live somewhere, and that is one of my favorite parts. We will be traveling without the burden of home, but with the dream of a home. I am certain that we will have a slightly different perspective on life once we get back, so there is no point in making a decision that will impact our lives for the next 5-10 years now.
We are also taking advantage of our last few weeks in San Francisco. We are going on our favorite hikes, eating at our favorite restaurants, and seeing our favorite people. I am thinking a lot about what I have accomplished here, and it is quite a bit. San Francisco has been good to me, and I am grateful for that. But I am also grateful toÂ know that it is time to go.