Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’

Moving to San Francisco

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

End of June / early July marked the end of our stay in South Africa – after about a year and a half the time had come to move on. For work-related reasons, J had to move a few weeks before me, while I was wrapping up my last project in South Africa. The departure was therefore quite gradual – selling off furniture (mostly IKEA things we had bought in Germany and shipped to SA when moving there) over the course of a couple of months, firstly the non-essential things, later more and more of the stuff; putting everything in boxes and shipping it; J leaving; and lastly me moving out – the last few days I spent in the guest room of a colleague (and got pretty sick, not a good way to spend the last few days)!

On 11 July, my project was finished and I left the country that same night to fly to London. Despite the unfortunate timing that had seen J leave multiple weeks before me, we were lucky in the fact that she was booked for a training in London for the following week, so we met in London for a day and a half before she went to her training. I flew to Germany for a week to meet up with family and relatives (before moving to the next continent, again being far from most of my family). My week in Germany consisted mostly of a lot of driving – flying into Berlin and staying in Potsdam for a couple of days, and then driving to Frankfurt, Mönchengladbach/Köln/Leichlingen, and lastly Hamburg, from where I flew out again on Friday to meet J in London. From there, we then departed to San Francisco.

Arriving in SF, I still had about two weeks off, which was good to get organized, buy furniture and move, and unpack and get settled. On the first of August, I then went back to work in my new office in San Francisco.

After having spent more than five months in SF by now (time flies!), we really have been enjoying the time and we love it. Especially compared to Johannesburg: even though Joburg is a really very nice and livable city despite all its bad rep, SF is just so much more vibrant and exciting. Particularly for me, with a strong interest in technology, being in SF where you feel that you are at the forefront of development, is fantastic.

We haven’t nearly spend enough time scouting out the surroundings yet, unfortunately – two busy jobs just makes it a bit difficult sometimes, but we have done a few things that were definitely worth our while, such as visiting Berkeley and the East Brother Light Station, a tiny rock island in the bay with just an old light house and a fog horn (very important for the foggy bay); driving up to Point Reyes and eating cheese at the local creamery, visiting the computer science history museum in Mountain View (definitely super interesting for a CS geek like me, including one of the two working Babbage difference engines); and going to the Charles Dickens Christmas market in Daly City. Apart from that, we have been eating out in incredibly many different fantastic restaurants – just within ten minutes walk of the area we live in in Nob Hill, there is so much choice to pick from! Only downside is the cost – SF is really extremely expensive. For some of our restaurant bills in SF, we could have been eating out for a week in Joburg!

Another point we are really enjoying in San Fran is the walkability – in Joburg, you had to take your car everywhere, because it was dangerous without, but also because the distances were just too far. Now, we can walk to work, to restaurants, to town to go shopping, etc. And if we need to go further, we just take an Uber, a Lyft, or catch a cab – all from an app on our phones – such a difference to SA (where we were both still using employer-supplied BlackBerries)!

November Holiday Pt. 2: USA (7 – 14 November)

Monday, December 9th, 2013

After coming back from Kruger Park, we said goodbye to my brother who was traveling onward in South Africa, and then had about a day to prepare for the rest of the trip. On Thursday 7 November, we flew out to Austin via Atlanta, to attend a wedding of two INSEAD classmates. Especially the first leg of this flight was extremely long with more than 16 hours on the plane – but everything worked out like a charm.

The wedding was beautiful, and we were so happy to be part of this and also get to see a couple of INSEADers from Europe and the Americas (and even though we had the longest journey there, some others flew in from Europe just for the weekend, which is pretty insane). Austin itself was nice, even though J was disappointed that it wasn’t Texan enough… Maybe next time we should go to Dallas 🙂

The next stop on our trip was San Francisco. I had never been there before, and was quite amazed by the city. Not only can you tell that this is the technology capital of the world (paradise for a geek like me :)), but also the amount of city life that is going on, with shops and bars and culture just at every corner felt very refreshing in comparison to Johannesburg – which is very nice to live in, but for the most part at least in those areas that we spend most of our time in is just very suburban.

In SF, we met up with a bunch of INSEAD classmates (for a board game night at Yammer, which was a lot of fun) and some other friends. Also, in addition to just walking through different neighborhoods and taking in the vibe of the city, we rented bicycles one day and cycled across the Golden Gate Bridge, and then took the ferry back, passing Alcatraz on the way. Despite being very touristy, this day trip was very nice, and the bridge is indeed quite an impressive sight.

Some pictures follow.


© 2012 – 2018 JF Goetzmann — Impress