Here’s what I’ll miss the most:
THE FOCUS ON THE ENVIRONMENTI know there are other places like this, but the Bay really does focus on environmental education and issues (at least in my opinion – or maybe I’m just surrounded by those people more since I was working for an environmental nonprofit?). It does feel like a happy little environmentally conscious bubble, which I love!
People are generally all about health here, too. It’s not as juice-cleansy as LA, but most people love their Whole Foods, farmers markets, yoga, etc.
BEING IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO A VARIETY OF LANDSCAPESYou’re about an hours drive (or less!) from the beach, close to (or living in) San Francisco, and have all kinds of beautiful forests within arms’ reach! It’s SO EASY to take a fun weekend trip or day trip to a ton of different destinations. You can drive to Yosemite but also the coast. The city but also the forest. Wine country or Tahoe to get your snow fix. I’ll definitely miss the variety!
Growing up, I was (and still am) surrounded by sooo many different ethnicities and cultures. It’s been a beautiful thing to live so close to so many different types of people.
I think that it made me a more open-minded person and I learned so much about different cultures. I am very appreciative of that. I like that people in the Bay are generally pretty non-judgmental (at least the people I’ve come across) – no one really cares what you look like or where you came from.
Of course, I say this as a white girl, but my POC friends have said the same. Many say they’ll never leave because they feel so comfortable/welcome there.
BEING CLOSE TO AIRPORTSThere are 3 main airports in the Bay: San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland. This has been sooo nice since I love to travel, and has allowed me to easily shop around for the cheapest ticket. Usually it ends up being San Francisco, but now that Norwegian flies out of Oakland, I’ve been choosing that airport more!
THE WEATHEROk, ok, I know I shat on the weather in my last post, but it IS nice that it’s still sunny and in the 60’s F (about 15 C) in December. Like I can still run outside without freezing to death, the farmer’s market happens all year round, I don’t have to put on 48734934 layers to check the mail, don’t have to deal with the annoyances that snow can bring, don’t have to drive in shitty weather (although when it does rain here, ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE), don’t have to own a super warm winter coat, don’t need to worry about my car freezing in the winter (or whatever it is that happens to your car in colder climates),…etc.
ALL MY FOOD SPOTSThere is sooooo much GOOD MEXICAN FOOD IN THE BAY AREA!!!! I will miss that so much. There isn’t much in Europe (at least not that I’ve found).
My Canadian friend and I had a very disturbing convo about this. He said he didn’t like Mexican food that much (we’re actually no longer friends lol jk) and then when I asked if he’d ever had real Mexican food, he told me that there’s a Chipotle around the corner from his work (HUGE RED FLAG AND I HAVE SHUNNED HIM EVER SINCE. Lol jk, we traveled through Greece and then met up in Abisko, but I have yet to show him ACTUAL delicious Mexican food).
And if you’re a foodie, the Bay is the place to be! As far as I’m concerned, we have pretty much every type of food that’s ever existed. And most of it is really, really GOOD.
Plus In-N-Out. There’s that. If you’re a vegetarian, get the Grilled Cheese Animal Style (although you can also get your regular burger Animal Style). And get a side of Animal Style Fries. Thank me later.
BEING SURROUNDED BY MOUNTAINSI love the mountains surrounding the bay. They make for some great sunsets and I just love me a good hill. I visited the midwest when I was younger and it was so unsettling to look around and just see flatness. And more flatness. WHERE WERE THE MOUNTAINS?! I honestly don’t think I could ever live somewhere long term that didn’t have them!
There are plenty of mountains in lots of other places, too. But I just thought this would be a noteworthy thing to point out that’s awesome about the bay!
I suppose this is probably a thing that most big cities have in common, but you can get pretty much anything in the Bay. And, there are usually multiple stores all around so you don’t have to go very far. It’s pretty easy to find something to accommodate your needs. And chain stores (i.e. Target, Whole Foods) have sooo many locations, so you never have to drive too far (although you’ll most likely be sitting in traffic for a good part of it anyway, haha).And so, as much as I complain about the Bay Area, I’ll definitely miss it, too! And my friends and family of course, but I felt like including that on this list was a cop out. It’s definitely going to be tough – most of my friends from high school (and college!) and parents are still in the Bay, and my cousin and her boyfriend literally JUST moved there in July…
But at least I know I’ll have places to stay when I come back and visit!