First off, happy new year! Hope you had an exciting and fun celebration over the holiday and you got a little break. Secondly, I moved! After 7.5 years living in SoMa, this chapter has come to an end. I’m beyond excited for a new chapter, and it’s just a strange a coincidence it happened right at the turn of the decade. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting over the holidays and I’m ready to share. Moving out of San Francisco has actually been in the works for a long time.
Why did I move out of San Francisco?
This part is truly bittersweet, and I want to be as honest as possible. In short, it’s complicated. I love San Francisco, but sometimes I don’t feel like I know the city anymore. It’s not that I’m opposed to change, I actually love change. I’m a Bay Area native and I loved witnessing the Dot-com Boom in the late 90s and early 2000s. It’s part of what made me decide to start building websites and even start learning to code as a teenager. Literally, I was the only girl in my C++/JAVA class at Berkeley High! During the Web 2.0 era, I kick-started my career in tech interviewing, interning, and volunteering at as many tech companies and conferences as possible. I networked the hell out of myself. San Francisco really felt like a different place then.
One of the biggest reasons for leaving is obviously due to the cost of living. Rent is out of control. The 1 bedroom apartment I lived in went up on average $400 per month annually for the last 7 years. Rent increases outpace inflation, and salary increases at work basically just offset the rent, so most people can never get ahead. It seems generational wealth and the IPO lottery are the only way to win, or just survive, in San Francisco. Cash buyers dominate the buying market, often winning with all cash offers above asking price making home ownership even less realistic for those with “low income” 6 figure salaries. Gentrification has been steadily sucking the soul out of the city. With blogging full time now, I’m truly location independent and this was an obvious opportunity to get out.
The next reason would be safety, sadly. I’ve mentioned this on Instagram Stories a few different times but the filth and crime in San Francisco, particularly in SoMa, is just unacceptable. How can we be a world class city with so much money, innovation, and talent, but we can’t even keep our streets clean and our people safe? My car has been vandalized and broken into more times than I can count. People are literally donating money to prevent the opening of homeless shelters. Used needles and human feces are modern day landmines you have to dodge on sidewalks. I don’t have an answer for the homeless crisis, but it’s disheartening to see people struggling with hunger, mental health, addiction, and living in tents on every single street. Ballot and regulation initiatives seem to be strangely prioritized for soda taxes and banning e-cigarettes. Boba Guys described it best: San Francisco has turned into Gotham City and there’s no Batman to save us.
The city still has so much to enjoy, but sometimes I double think recommending it as a travel destination. I needed to get out before my love completely soured.
Where did I move?
This is what everyone wants to know! I moved to Sonoma County, just about one hour north of San Francisco. It’s close enough to commute, just maybe not daily. You didn’t think I’d completely abandon city life, did you? Aside from wineries, breweries, restaurants, and hotels, I’m still getting to know my area as a local. I already feel more at ease having a safe street to park on and being able to see grassy hills out of my window. It’s the little things, right?
What does this mean for the blog?
I know, I know. I’ve kind of subtly branded myself as a city lifestyle person. But that won’t change much. Neither will my tagline, living large in little ways. What will change is the addition of more home and wine content, which will go deeper than I’ve ever been able to in the past. Finally I have space to decorate and be more creative. I have dreams of getting a nice wine fridge, hot tub for the backyard, and designing a spa-like bathroom sanctuary. I plan on documenting all of that, and more, while keeping in line with my main verticals of fashion, beauty, and travel. I’m also especially excited to discover more North Bay spas, salons, and brands for my Bay Area Beauty series.
So yes, there may be a slight shift to more lifestyle content overall, but I’ll still be covering things from a better rounded Bay Area perspective. I grew up in the East Bay, lived in both San Francisco and the Peninsula, and now I’m getting that true North Bay experience. Keep in mind, there are a lot of people who brand themselves as “San Francisco” bloggers, but they may have never even lived in the city. No shade towards them, just saying I want to offer you more.
Again, I’d like to stress that these are my personal thoughts and experience moving out of San Francisco. I would love to hear your opinion on the state of the city. Are you local, how do you feel? Are you from another area, what have you heard? Discussing our points of view and participating in elections is how real changes can be made. As someone with an online platform, it’s also my responsibility to remind you to vote! 2020 is a presidential election year and my San Francisco experience has definitely lead me toward one new candidate in particular.
With that said, I’m totally open to content feedback and requests as well! If there’s something you want to see more or less of, please let me know. I’m excited to take you all along for this new chapter. Cheers to 2020 and to new beginnings!