When I first landed in this city four years ago, I just took a cab from the airport and went straight to my new home. At first, it did not appear very different from where I came from, except for the cab driver speaking English, setting up some device vacuumed on his cars windshield and of course driving on the opposite sides of the road. Peeking through the window,  the roads did appear little broader, the traffic a little faster and much organized but it did not really strike like a whole new world.

On my very first weekend, my husband took me out around the city, but we went mostly to those scenic places.. like tourists. Yes I liked it, yes I enjoyed a lot.. but it felt like just another tourist place.. stopping at those “marked” points, getting pictures clicked.. ah ..you know how it is.. !

It wasn’t until I stepped into that city all alone, it wasn’t until I traveled through the buses, the trains and all other local transports of the city, and it wasn’t until I walked miles and miles on my foot through the length and breadth of this hilly city that I could really really relish and admire the taste of it. After that, there was nothing that I did not love about this city.  The roads traveling up and down.. the houses appear like riding a staircase, the cars all tilted and the pacific hugging it around. Yes, I am talking about the city that lies in the heart of the Golden State of California.. rather the heart itself. Yes, I am talking about the city of San Francisco.

I still remember the first time I travelled alone in BART, the first time I rented a bike and went all over by myself, the first time I started wandering in the city.. endlessly.. aimlessly. The liveliness of the city, the musicians creating awesome stuff on roadsides, the city full of daily commuters, shoppers, tourists, students and .. and Life.

I don’t live in SFO.. but nearby.  After two years, I joined a grad school here. During my grad school days, I always left my home with a loaded mind.. loaded with worries of tests, quizzes, assignments… ! But as soon as I used to step out of BART, took stairs to the upper level and see the city itself.. all it did was that it created some kind of magic. I still don’t know what it was.. the weather.. the liveliness.. the people .. or was it just in my mind.. I felt relaxed.. refreshed .. rejuvenated. All I wanted to do is enjoy the moments… slip and live into my own thoughts.

After the grad school got over, my travel frequency to SFO decreased. But even today, out of my busy and stressful days, I often take time and make a short trip to the city. It is not just any other city for me… it de-stresses me.. it just creates the magic the right way !

Cheers!

Shruti

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