All Stories,  North America,  San Francisco,  Solo Female Traveler

Living in San Francisco

I’m not sure what lured me to this place or how I actually decided to move to San Francisco, especially considering that the only thing I know about myself is that I don’t want to live in North America. But for some reason here I am… And it is weird!
I never really had any expectations, I just expected to like it, based on other people’s experiences, although my first impressions were anything but alluring. Upon arriving, I put off sightseeing and went straight to work and house hunting, which might have been a bad idea since my walk to work took me through the roughest part of town and it was weeks before I encountered what I have come to learn as “what San Francisco is known for”.
The one thing I did not expect was the amount of homeless people, there is always someone talking to themselves or more likely swearing at someone I cannot see. I had a flashback on one of my first days walking home from work, and it took me a while to realize what the flashback was of, but being suddenly aware of my surroundings, crowded nasty smells and filthy people – I realized it was of India (and not in a good way). It then hit me what was happening to me… I have culture shock, from my own (or very near to my own) culture. I am shocked that everyone speaks English to me, especially when they were just speaking another language with someone else. When I travel to foreign places I expect them to be scary and dangerous, but coming here I thought it would be beautiful everywhere, with rainbows and high-fives, and am now having difficulty coming to terms with a modern American city.
When I travel alone, I always tell myself the same thing when confronting a difficult situation “you can laugh or you can cry” and for the first week I felt like crying, that is until I came across my new apartment, which actually had me laughing. Laughing at the fact that this is my life and this little fort of a living space is going to be my reality. Since that moment nothing has changed but everything has at the same time, mostly my perspective and instead of feeling like an outsider in a foreign land, I am now a weirdo at home.