September was an exciting month of returning back to California and setting up a base in San Francisco. It was a bit surreal to be back stateside after only a few months abroad, but I couldn’t deny how happy it made me to be back in California and in a culture that I knew like the back of my hand.
I had to keep pinching myself to remind myself that I was actually home and that I didn’t have plans to leave again anytime soon. It was a weird but refreshing feeling.
After running around trying to see as much as possible in Portugal and Morocco in August, it was nice to simply slow down and focus on my work, my writing, and spending quality time with family.
I lucked out with having a sublet set-up as soon as I arrived back to the city in the perfect location and within my budget, but it unfortunately fell through just as quickly due to unforeseen circumstances with the couple I was renting from. I only had 3 weeks in my new room before I had to move out again.
Although I was craving stability as a newcomer to the city, I also knew that there was bound to be some hiccups with moving back home, so I took it in stride and quickly started going to a bunch of house walkthroughs to find a place to set down my bags again in the city.
Right before I moved out of the sublet, I took off for Texas for the first ever TravelCon – a travel blogging conference set-up by Matt Kepnes from Nomadic Matt. The conference was even better than I was expecting it to be, and I came back to San Francisco feeling even more balanced with my business and my life.
Without further ado, this was my September!
Places & Memories
San Francisco | I spent most of September in San Francisco, getting comfortable in my sublet, exploring my new neighborhood in the Upper Haight, eating A LOT of Mexican food, and spending time with my sister and my oldest friends.
I found a couple of favorite cafes and brunch spots at Bean Bag Cafe, Stanza Coffee Shop, and Cafe Reverie, a couple of new yoga studios that I loved – YogaTree & Bend Yoga, and spent most Tuesdays at Soda Popinski’s killing it at trivia with my sister and a group of friends, and afterwards finding ourselves at Encore for karaoke.
I also celebrated The Atlas Heart LLC turning two, checked out my first coworking space in the city – Workshop Cafe, spent a day at the SF MOMA with my friend Urvi to see the new René Magritte exhibit, explored a street fair in Hayes Valley, and enjoyed a night at my favorite Monday night bar in the city, Martunis.
In other words, I started feeling like a normal person again, who, you know, has a community and local hangouts that I routinely go to.
My sister rang in her 32nd at Dave & Busters at the end of the month, and we had a birthday picnic at Alamo Square the next day, looking out over the city and the colorful Painted Ladies.
I couldn’t have asked for a better month back in the city. It only solidified the feeling that I had made the right choice in moving to the Bay Area instead of somewhere else in Europe.
Santa Cruz | I went back to Santa Cruz once in September to spend time with my mom and enjoy the laid back nature of my hometown. We went to our favorite El Palomar upon my return, as is tradition, and continued to catch up about my few months abroad.
She’s moving away from Santa Cruz soon, so I want to come back as much as possible over the next few months to really appreciate the place I grew up in, because I probably won’t be going back to it as much once she moves down south.
Austin, Tx | I spent 5 days in Austin, Texas to experience the first TravelCon and had a great time networking with other entrepreneurs, bloggers, and companies that are killing it in the industry.
During my time in Austin, I met some of the bloggers I respect and look up to the most, including Brenna from This Battered Suitcase, Kristin from Be My Travel Muse, Kirsten from The Blonde Abroad, Gloria from The Blog Abroad, Alex from Alex in Wanderland, and Nadine from Hey Nadine.
I also had a writing workshop with the talented Torre DeRoche, who has written best-sellers like, Love with a Chance of Drowning and The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World. It was the first time I’ve done a writing workshop and I appreciated the feedback and tips that Torre had to give us.
Besides all that, the after parties, the talks throughout the conference, and the little crew I managed to really connect with and spent most of the conference with, made it a memorable time. I had a ton of inspiration and good vibes by the time I left for the airport to head back to San Francisco.
Still Me is the last book in the Jojo Moyes ‘Me Before You‘ series, and it was good to finally finish a trilogy that I started a couple of years ago.
It was also nice to read a book that was relatively lighthearted, especially with the stress of coming back to US politics and figuring out my place in SF moving forward. It was a good story to get lost in when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.
The book is part love story, part a commentary on adulting as a 20-something-year-old, and part finding your independence as woman in a foreign country after having gone through a traumatic emotional experience.
The second book I read this month was The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World, mostly because I’d been wanting to read it since it came out last year and because I had a writing workshop with the author at TravelCon.
Torre has the gift of being able to write self-deprecating humor (it’s harder than it might seem) that points to her own self awareness and outlook in life.
What I love most about her two memoirs is her honesty and way of seeming like an old friend who is telling you about a grand adventure, without leaving out all the mishaps and negative parts that come up along the way.
In The Worrier’s Guide she recounts her adventure of doing a pilgrimage with her friend Masha through Italy and India, and how it helped heal her after the death of her father and decade-long relationship with her significant other. It’s raw, honest, and real. Obviously, I loved it.
At the moment I’m still figuring out a new place to live in San Francisco, and I just signed on a new full-time client for my digital marketing business, so I’m already being kept very busy by day-to-day life in the city.
However, I did buy an impromptu ticket to somewhere special this week for a girls ‘Galentines’ trip in February. I’ll be revealing where that is in my next wrap up!
In October, I really want to focus on buckling down on my business (my goal is to be making six figures by the start of 2019), blog, and writing, and to find my routine of sorts in the city. Oh, and of course to find an epic costume (or two) for Halloween festivities.
I recently signed back up with ClassPass and I’m hoping to get back into barre and yoga on a regular basis, and to try out boxing classes for the first time.
I also need to do on the unfun ‘adulting’ things that involve moving to a new city, such as changing my driver’s license over, registering to vote, and figuring out my health care in the US since I’m self-employed.
Also – San Francisco residents get free classes at the city college here, so once I have a permanent address in the city, I plan to sign up for either French or Spanish classes to hit my goal of becoming conversationally fluent in another language before I turn 30.
It’s going to be a busy month ahead of me, but I’m excited to see what the fall will bring for my new life in San Francisco.
That’s all for September! Until next month, friends. x
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