It had been at least six years or more since I took a solo trip. When I was single living in Europe I used to travel everywhere by myself. I think subconsciously my mind and body needed to take a solo trip. It was time to go back to the days of wandering a place with a map and camera, and that’s exactly what I did in San Francisco. I spent two days wandering all over the city. I needed to know that I still had it in me and hadn’t become too co-dependent.
Every morning I was in charge of my day, I didn’t have a boss or a husband telling me what I needed to do. It was great to be able to plan out my days and go the places I wanted to visit. I decided to walk everywhere but I soon realized that walking around in San Francisco was a true work out due to the very very steep streets. However, I sure did build up my legs.
I loved San Francisco’s creativity energy both in its people and buildings. In the area near Yerba Buena Park you’ll see innovative benches and other structures. San Francisco has an initiative called, the Living Innovation Zone Program (LIZ) which makes it possible to use public space in new and exciting ways, like the picture below.
I later went to the infamous gay neighborhood in the Castro District, and stopped by the Starbucks to charge my phone. It was a great experience because two men, like in their 50s, gave me great advice about the things I should visit in San Francisco, and told me to take the train down Market Street to the Ferry Building. During our conversation a true New Yorker interrupted us to complain about the steep hills and having to walk up them. Later the conversation turned to how today’s youth doesn’t have to fight how the baby boomer or earlier generations did. The two older men said how they had to fight for everything like workers, gay, women, voter and city rights…just to name a few. One thing that made me laugh is what one of the men said, “well the youth of today has Taylor Swift.” It was great to be in a conversation with a true New Yorker and two men who had been living in San Francisco for over 30 years. Its moments like those that you appreciate the ability to witness all the great and quirky things that this world has to offer.
I also ventured to two parks: Buena Vista Park and Dolores Park. I was a little scared going up Buena Vista Park because you’re surrounded by these huge redwood trees and you don’t know what’s hiding behind them. At that moment you feel a little vulnerable but then you take deep breath in and realize that nature in no way would ever hurt you. And the Dolores Park took me back to what it would’ve been like to have lived in the 70s with all the hippies. At the park it was full of free-spirited people hula-hooping, dancing, and smoking. It felt good to be able to let loose a little and not worry what others think. In San Francisco everyone is its own person.
Life lesson of what I discovered on my solo trip: Life is going to keep going with or without you so you better join the ride or stay put and feel sorry for yourself. Many times when I was alone I would catch myself thinking of something and saying, “poor me,” but on the last day I stopped myself by saying “life in San Francisco is vibrant and doesn’t stop to analyze everything and feel sorry for anything it just lives. So this post is to “JUST LIVING.”
Please, share any life lessons you’ve discovered on your trips on the community group.