It’s hard to pull myself away from San Francisco. Despite its flaws, I indubitably love staying in. I cringe at the thought of going to Oakland or really anywhere in the East Bay. I am a spoiled city brat. I like having all of the things I love in one place, I love my apartment and I deal with the public transportation (through spending too much money on Lyft).
The City is stricken with traffic. Talk about being stopped right in your tracks. They really need to stay out of the cross walks. I digress. But really, the thought of getting a car to the airport stresses me out. I believe we were listed as the fourth worst traffic cities in the world. When I try to rent a car on Getaround for the weekend, I need to extend the rental even though I give myself ample amounts of time. It is a pain in my side that is unresolvable. It literally drains me to sit through traffic, so when I get to my intended destination, I need a few minutes to collect myself. Traffic definitely keeps me confined.
Another thing is time. There better be a really good reason for me to travel all the way down to Palo Alto. I once attempted to visit my boyfriend at Facebook for lunch and ended up staying through dinner. Partially to avoid traffic (see above), but because it was more worth my time to stick around than just visit the South Bay for one or two hours. It also takes on average an hour to an hour and a half to get anywhere off the BART line in Oakland. So if my East Bay friends want to go to this super awesome Ethiopian restaurant downtown, I have to take Muni to Civic Center and take the BART (whenever it comes). Again, I spend two to three hours of travel time to eat one meal for approximately two hours.
There are places I do like to go. I do like wine country, Santa Barbara, Mendocino … etc. I rarely make it out there. It is so much easier to wake up on a Saturday morning, run, justify brunch and enjoy an afternoon in Dolo. We really have just about everything we need here. Hiking, shopping, downtown, parks, beach, bay, bridges and rooftops are just some examples. I can’t really imagine myself spending a great deal of time somewhere else. Last year, I took a hiatus to L.A. for about a week. It felt great to be out of The City in very warm weather, but I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know what to do or where to get anything.
I guess that is the joy of exploring. Not knowing what is next. As I referenced in previous articles, there is a group of S.F. people who are the exact opposite. They travel incessantly, never really putting two feet on the ground. I admire them, but can’t imagine not living in my own city. They do contribute to the sharing economy, giving up their apartments so other people can live in them, give up their cars for me to rent them, and sell their junk to newbies that have nothing. But really, if you have an ungodly amount of money to travel and don’t contribute nearly anything to this city, why live here?
Living in San Francisco is a status thing. It is the most expensive city in the U.S., and with that price tag comes notoriety. Maybe I like the status of living here. It feels good to be trapped in this bubble. There are cool things happening here, and I may just have an enhanced version of FOMO. I am leaving The City this weekend, and am literally missing so much. But I know it is healthy for me to leave. I can’t just perpetually stay in one place. I need to move around and stretch my legs.
There is always a happy medium though. While I don’t travel every weekend or for months at a time, I need to let go of my need to be comfortable and just explore!
With a background in journalism, Melissa Eisenberg has been working in the tech industry for eight years, currently leading the SF FashTech community.