San Francisco is a crafty mistress. Before I moved up to the city, I thought that everyone who lived here was just completely into themselves. So absorbed in their own lives that they couldn’t be bothered to ever leave the city. And then I moved to the city. All of sudden so many options opened up to me. A whole world of experiences, right in my backyard and all without driving (which is so important to me!)

My version of San Francisco
What I imagine San Francisco looks like

I became what I disliked, but also understood that my previous assumptions were wrong. San Francisco just has too many things to do! You don’t have to leave the city for anything, so why would you? In all my travels, I have yet to experience a city as dirty as San Francisco and I have yet to really fall in love with a city as much.

Having been away and seen some amazing things, I think I can appreciate San Francisco so much more for her unique-ness and also for all her flaws. No place I visited was without problems, corruption or prejudice, but San Francisco tries harder. I like that.

So I find myself with a unique opportunity to travel again, very soon, and I’m not so sure I want to just pick up and leave. Yesterday, as I was returning to the Bay Area, I met a girl on my flight who was from Beijing. She was traveling alone and had visited New York and Boston previously. She seemed adventurous, excited and cautious all at the same time. She was sweet and very friendly and before we landed she wanted to take a picture with me. I asked her what she was going to do after this visit and she said “return home“.  She enjoyed her stay, but traveling made her miss home. I knew exactly what she was talking about. As we were exiting the plane, she asked for my name (good conversations tend to make you forget the time) and where I was from. I said, “I’m Rei, I’m from San Francisco“. It rolled off my tongue effortlessly and for the first time I realized I hadn’t mentioned I was from Hawai’i or even talked about the islands. I will forever love my family home, but San Francisco calls to me. She wants me back and I think…whatever she wants, she gets.