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Subscriber active since. I'd never necessarily dreamed of moving to San Francisco specifically. That fantasy was reserved for New York, just like every journalist's pipe dream. But fortunately, I landed a job in February and made the move from my hometown of Pflugerville, Texas, to the Bay Area and have lived here ever since while also reporting on the region. There was a bit of culture shock when I was first adapting to the tech hub — companies like LinkedIn and Twitter ran their global headquarters in buildings near my office, and the people walking next to me on the street were some of the country's highest-paid workers.
Down in the South Bay was the heart of Silicon Valley, where for decades the industry's greatest advancements have been pioneered. What was happening around me was clearly much bigger than me. There was also a bit of an adjustment going from what feels like a small town to a major metro area. Pflugerville is a suburb about 20 miles north of Austin, Texas, which is a tech city in its own right. You'll see stats on median rent thrown around. But at the end of the day, they all conclude that rent in San Francisco is more expensive than anywhere else.
The only common area we have is the kitchen, and we have a split bathroom meaning the toilet is in one room while the shower is down the hall in its own space. Her downstairs floor is bigger than my entire apartment. But we're both where we want to be, which is exactly the point — people living in San Francisco are lucky enough to have jobs that allow them to put up with the city's quirks because we deem them worth it to live here.
But that's not the restaurant's fault more than it is anyone else's. There are a lot of reasons why it's so expensive out here for business owners and residents alike. Source: Thrillist. And it is to a point — there are Teslas aplenty — but you'll still see people that make sky-high salaries dressed in jeans and sneakers riding a bike to and from work. Ostentatious lifestyles are not as common as I thought they would be. And that's because it costs so much to merely survive here. Your money doesn't go as far as it would in, say, my hometown of Pflugerville.
I knew there would be a more corporate side to the city, but I pictured there being pockets of truly bohemian people. And there are — mostly artists, surfers, and other free spirits living on the western side of the city — but they're not as prominent as I thought. No flowing dresses and peace s — just Patagonia vests and sneakers. Everyone dresses the same including myselfand it's all pared down, nothing fancy. As tech has grown in the city, artists and other free spirits have been priced out. The living conditions for homeless people in San Francisco are some of the worst in the worldwith discarded needles, human feces, and tent encampments just some regular sights when walking around the city.
I've seen trash collectors slip on human feces on the sidewalk while dumping trash bins on my walk to work in the morning. But there are systemic problems causing San Francisco's homelessness crisis — a crushing housing shortage, stunted living wages, and an explosion of tech money have all contributed to a growing wealth divide that is seeing more and more people pushed out of their homes and onto the streets.
Summers don't really exist here. Never ever leave home without a jacket. And dress in layers whenever you can, i. Remove as needed. And if you live in a building that's over years old like yours trulythe windows are loose and insulation is nonexistent. Socks and layers are your friend, both outside and indoors.
Lake Tahoe is about a three- to four-hour drive east, there are beaches like Ocean Beach out to the west of the city, and hiking trails surround the Bay Area. I could go on, but it makes you feel like you're getting your money's worth when you can experience everything that comes with living in the Bay Area. Parking spaces are not guaranteed, even for some living in multimillion-dollar homes, and traffic is congested throughout the city. So if you are carless, which in my mind has been a perk of living in an urban environment, walking can be much easier than public transit or ridesharing. The downside is that I've worn out and have had to toss some of my favorite shoes, and I've dealt with foot problems since I moved out here.
On the bright side, I have calves of steel. Sneakers or work boots and thick socks are the way to go — you learn to opt for function over form very quickly. The turnover rate of people coming to and leaving SF is high. And a recent November survey of city residents showed that a third of the respondents want out. There's a mass exodus from the city as costs rise and issues plaguing the region are exacerbated. Another reason is simply that many see San Francisco as a temporary place to live to jump-start their careers or enjoy the youth of their 20s and 30s.
I met my best friends here when I moved to the city inand about a year and a half later, they packed up and moved to London for grad school — and I doubt it's the last time I'll have to deal with friends moving away. And Apple has had a presence in the region for two decades now. But tech offices and workers have filed in even more noticeably within the past decade or so. And the suburbs will continue to feel the effects as well. Every time I go home to Pflugerville, more apartment complexes seem to appear. Shopping centers are planned for my hometown, I overhear venture-capitalist meetings at my neighborhood Starbucks, and a Bay Area couple, one of whom came from Google's Mountain View, California, headquarters, recently moved into my parent's neighborhood.
World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. Get the Insider App. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. Good Subscriber active since Shortcuts. icon An icon in the shape of a person's head and shoulders. It often indicates a user profile. Log out. US Markets Loading H M S In the news. Katie Canales. I moved from the Texas suburb of Pflugerville, which is about 20 miles north of Austin, to San Francisco in February I've lived here ever since and have adjusted to not only city life but also life in America's biggest tech hub.
Here are the 11 things that surprised me the most about moving here. Visit Business Insider's home for more stories. Two years in and my skin's gotten fairly thick — but only after I learned a few things. Here are 11 things that surprised me most moving from Texas suburbia to Silicon Valley.
Let's just get this one out of the way: Yes, it is expensive to live here. The high costs gave me a bit of a fright at first, but it's doable if you have a full-time job that pays well. That's not to say that the high costs don't get frustrating.
It's not San Fran for some reason. Let your relatives and friends call it that when they come to visit, but you are a local, so don't you dare. It took me a while to get used to seeing the names and logos of some of the biggest tech companies displayed on street corners. LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram — these used to exist merely in my phone. Now they're plastered above me whenever I venture outside for a bite to eat during my lunch break.
It's surreal, and sometimes I don't think I've fully adapted to it. The people working in these offices are some of the highest-paid in the city — and the country, for that matter. But besides the typical techie uniform that most conform to, you wouldn't be able to tell that by looking at them. With so much wealth and success, I thought it would be reflected in the lives and possessions of people living in the city. It is nowhere near as bohemian as I thought it would be. Many below a certain pay grade have been priced out, and I've never seen homelessness like I've seen it here.
I knew the Bay Area had a temperate climate, but in reality, that means it's just straight cold. It's always chilly, with periodic bursts of warmth and sunlight throughout the day. You can be in the heart of an urban city, at a beach, or on the mountains all within a day. The hills will kill you, but then you'll get used to them. You can absolutely meet your forever friends and maybe even a lifetime partner here, but don't get used to it.
Reporting on Silicon Valley has been interesting as I've learned about how the tech industry has also played a role back home in Texas. Was this article valuable for you? Additional comments. optional. Receive a selection of our best stories daily based on your reading preferences. Loading Something is loading. address. Deal icon An icon in the shape of a lightning bolt. For you.Who wants to move to san francisco
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