Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Week Two Complete: San Jose

I've been in San Jose two weeks and feel very settled. I've found my local necessities (e.g., grocery, liquor, drug, hardware, library), figured out public transportation, gone out several times, and met some nice people. As I did this past winter in Myrtle Beach I moved my simple life easily to San Jose. 

It has been very easy to meet people. My personality helps but I really do believe it is the culture. I met some lovely people in my building simply hanging out in the community spaces. I also jumped back into online dating after a Covid hiatus. I am finding there are so many "transplants" in this area most people are looking for a friend (or Covid made them desperate). 

For the past couple years one of my favorite parts of my day has been eating on the patio. When picking an apartment Annelies told me it was ridiculous to pay an extra $400/month (gulp!) for a patio and I should "walk my ass down to the Sky Deck", so that is what I do (48 steps to be exact). In addition to experiencing the beautiful mountain view, and the weather San Jose has to offer, it has given me an opportunity to meet people. 

Sky Deck View

My apartment is perfect (I spent over 30 hours searching so it should be!) and the location is fabulous! I am one block from downtown so everything is a quick walk (or bus ride). There is live music nightly - so much so I'm overwhelmed! In two weeks I have taken the train into San Francisco, attended an Oktoberfest event, spent the day driving the coastal shores, and this weekend I'm going to Hamilton (for the FOURTH time!!).  

Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco


Moss Landing

Roadside Fruit Stands


Pebble Beach


One of my goals this year is to not own a car. After two weeks I will say I am adjusting nicely to public transportation (the system here is GREAT!). I love the challenge of planning ahead and slowing down. Often friends say "can I pick you up" and I refuse, because a challenge is a challenge and I am all-in. At least today. For those wondering why the hell I would I rely on public transportation to get around it is for three reasons: 1) I love a challenge - it keeps me thinking and my brain sharp, 2) when I own less, life is easier, and 3) if we are going to turn the tide on climate change we all need to make changes that are uncomfortable.

Bus Patron
The weather here is...just amazing. I've lived in Minnesota my entire life and hate the cold so it isn't a difficult transition. Every day it has been sunny and warm. I see people wearing winter jackets when it goes below 65 degrees but I think they just want a reason to wear their winter jackets. There are fruit trees everywhere, including on my block! It is so strange.

Grapefruit Tree

Because life isn't perfect I have a couple struggles. I knew it would be a challenge, but living in the pacific time zone has been rough. I'm a night person and most of my work days now begin at 7am. Ouch! The second issue is my damn "old lady hip". I've had hip pain for five (5) years and conservatively treated it until this summer when I committed to physical therapy and a steroid injection (a miracle!). But when I schlepped all my shit for the move something happened and I am back to hobbling. I love 75% of the benefits from getting old (e.g., smarter, richer, wiser) but not when my body doesn't work as I wish. I need to get established with a clinic. Task on this week's agenda.

I find myself explaining my life over and over as I meet people. When you do not follow social norms everyone is intrigued. If it intrigues you as well, a friend shared an article with me that perfectly describes my wanderlust (click here to read). I recently read The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, which resonated with me as well. It is a classic that tells of a young boy who learns to pursue his dreams by following what his heart desires. That is me. 

I hope all of you are doing something today to follow your heart and pursue your dreams as well. I'm not sure how often I will update this blog for my “normal life” but I want to say this...I'm loving it here! This was a good move. 

Rae Ann

Lessons learned from this move (for later retrieval):

  • Big Purchases. I purchased a mattress, bedframe, sofa, desk, nightstand and end table. All great purchases. However, I would purchase a simple platform for my mattress next time and not a full headboard. 
  • Look for Smart Packaging. I purchased basic items that came in "smart packaging", meaning they break apart in pieces so I can pack for my next move and not buy new. Buying through Amazon helps. Some examples were a broom that unscrews in pieces and instead of a tall mirror small squares that make up a long mirror. 
  • Shipping Lessons. First, shipping stuff was a good idea. I would tape the boxes better next time (I didn't lose anything but one box showed up split down the side).  I would try shipping via FedEx next time, as I heard that is cheaper. It still was cheaper than having a moving company.
  • Order Earlier. Thankfully my mattress arrived prior to my first night, but nothing else did. I would order earlier and let the apartment hold it. I was worried about having it sit in the package room but I saw so many others doing the same. It took from Friday to the following Sunday to receive packages via USPS.