I grew up in San Jose and was living in Fremont the past 2 years. I will always love the Bay (and there are plenty of reasons I’ll miss it, too), but I’m also very ready to leave. It was a good run, but here’s why I’m not looking to return:
THE TRAFFICDare I say it, I think Bay Area traffic is starting to rival that of LA! For instance, my commute to my previous job should have only taken me about 25 minutes, but it usually took about an hour…sometimes more!
And it seems like there’s ALWAYS traffic now – like between 7:00-11:00AM and 2:00-8:00PM you can expect delays. It drives (heheh) me freaking nuts. My dad would leave for work around 6/6:30 every morning just so he didn’t have to deal with it.
On the bright side, I got to listen to lots and lots of podcasts!
THE LACK OF SEASONSI think I’m the only person ever to say this, but I like the cold!! And a variety of weather!! And the Bay seemed like it only had two seasons: warm and less warm. Maybe I’ll regret saying this when I move somewhere colder, BUT I honestly got tired of all the sun. I wanted more cloudy days, and more rain! And maybe some snow? Like SOMETHING OTHER THAN SUNSHINE FOR ONCE. That would be cool.
It also realllllly pisses me off when it’s warm during the holidays. It should NOT be sunny and 70 degrees!!! At the very least it should be cloudy so I can sit in front of the fire and sip my tea in peace.And also every single leaf should change color in the fall. I feel like that should be a rule somewhere. We don’t really have a fall here. It kind of just gets a litttttle cold. That’s it. Maybe some leaves change. But it’s not anything spectacular.
And I know many other places in the Bay do get colder, like San Francisco, but it still doesn’t ever get THAT cold. Like 50s F. And it still is just kinda rainy/foggy, nothing too exciting. Side note: did you know the fog in SF is called ‘Karl’? And it has its own Instagram page, @karlthefog? You’re welcome.
THE RUSHING AROUND
Maybe this is just me, but I feel very go go go living here. I feel like I’m always super busy, and rushing all the time, and it very much feels like the ‘vibe’ here. I think it might be related to all the traffic? And the fact that it’s expensive so people are constantly hustling/working side jobs?
I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong and that’s just life, haha. But I’m determined to live in a smaller city/town next with less ‘hustle and bustle’ to find out!
THE CROWDED-NESSIt feels VERY crowded in the Bay since so many people live in one house/apartment so they can still afford it (because it really is so damn expensive). Also, there are lots of jobs (especially in tech!) and so lots of people flock here.
Then there are all the people that grew up here/have lived here before all the BIG tech companies started moving in and are staying because their family/friends live here. And a lot of people live here for the weather!
EXPENSIVE HOUSINGLol there’s a reason I lived with my dad for two years instead of moving out. Because I did not want to pay $800 a month for a room that was actually part of the kitchen and divided by a curtain. With 3 other roommates. No thanks.
But seriously, the housing prices are RIDICULOUS. The nice thing about that is that everywhere else seems cheap to me now, haha!
THE SHITTY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATIONI mean BART works, but it’s also kind of the worst. It’s a little pricey and kinda sketchy and smelly. I don’t mind riding it, but I realllly don’t like doing it alone, especially on a weekend night (which I don’t do often, but have done occasionally). I like Cal Train better (but it’s also more expensive) but I live on the BART side.
In the South Bay (i.e. San Jose, Santa Clara, Cupertino, etc.) the public transportation SUCKS. Yes, there’s lightrail and all the different buses, but it’s really not the best. I’d LOVE to take public transportation to work, but it would take forever since there’s no direct route – I’d still have to drive part way and change a bunch of buses. Or I’d love to bike – but according to Google Maps, it would have taken me 2 hours.
IT BEING SUCH A FREAKING HASSLE TO VISIT MY FRIENDSYou’d think that moving to the Bay Area would make your social life thrive – not so for me! Maybe it’s just me since I’m kind of a hermit anyways, or maybe it’s just part of growing up, but everyone seems so BUSY these days, myself included.
And when I did have some free time, the thought of sitting through traffic to see my friends just sounded exhausting. And even on weekends, I was too lazy to drive to San Jose or take Bart to Oakland/SF since I did so much driving and running around during the week.
I used to make a lot more of an effort when I first moved back, but after a while it just felt like a lot of work! I guess that’s also just a part of getting older, and busy with life and whatnot. But still, I’d love to have a community of friends that I didn’t have to sit through an hour of traffic every time I wanted to visit!
THE URBAN-NESSYes, it’s nice because we do live near outdoor spaces, but when I lived in Flagstaff, it felt like I was plopped down in the middle of nature. Like a town that was built INTO nature – there were tons of trails right in your backyard. The Bay feels like it was built ONTO it. Idk if that makes sense, but there are just so many freeways and stores and city things.
And I know there are lots of green spaces nearby, but AGAIN with the traffic.
And I’m not a huge fan of most of the architecture, either (although San Francisco and downtown San Jose do have lots of beautiful Victorians). I prefer bricks and stone, but they’re mostly just either Victorian or more modern.Okay, so I know I just kind of shit all over the Bay Area, but it’s not all bad – I promise! These are just my grinch-y vibes from living here for so long. And I also have plenty of friends who LOVE IT and swear they’ll never leave. To counteract all the negativity, I also wrote a post on what I’ll miss about living in the Bay Area!