It’s been an interesting week, that’s for sure. After my spiritual retreat two weekend ago, I was “glowing” for a few days recapping my experience to my eager friends and coworkers – I was hugely touched by how genuinely interested loved ones were in hearing about this unique experience, and sharing let me re-live it which I loved. 🙂
Following these glowy days, I was hoping to easily integrate back into life, but if there’s one thing for sure…you can’t plan life. What was thrown at me was a very emotional week between work and other events, and by the weekend, all I wanted was a day of antisocial recovery.
I was a bit nervous to spend a whole weekend alone, especially since the upcoming week was essentially going to be solo as well between a work trip to D.C. and then Nicaragua for Labor Day weekend (!!!). But my heart knew what it wanted, so I got out of bed, took my DSLR camera, rented a motorbike, and spent the entire day exploring the nooks and crannies of SF that I haven’t seen yet.
First stop, I found this awesome flower shop called Flora Grubb Gardens out in Bayview. It was beyond adorable and a fabulous place to spend an afternoon – they had tons of seating to chill by the gorgeous plants and even served coffee.
Next, my adventure led me to Bernal Heights. I took a walk in the park and found this gem! You know home girl loves a good swing with a view 😉
Then I spent a few hours exploring the Mission. I bought some street churros, shopped for tarot cards, and strolled through the full-of-life neighborhood. My favorite was finding this seedy, quiet ally filled with interesting, politically-charged graffiti art.
Last stop, of course, Kava Lounge :). Josh was around so we joked around for a few hours – at least I got some human interaction that day!
Unfortunately, this trip out to D.C. was for a Monday meeting, which meant traveling + working all day Sunday. I was honestly quite bitter to give up half my weekend, but tried to see the silver lining which was that I could work remotely in D.C. for 2 days before heading to Nicaragua – I’d finally have time to explore D.C. versus my usual quick back-and-forth!
When you have to pack for work meetings + backpacking solo trip 😛
As I was hanging out at my hotel and prepping for meetings, I remember feeling like this was basically my second home…everything from knowing the airport and the town like the back of my hand, not sure if that’s a great thing but just something I noticed.
By Monday at 1pm, I was free! I ate celebration tacos and remember thinking “is Monday at 2pm too early to be celebrating? Nah…”
Then I got straight to exploring the next two days (in and out of some work). I changed hotels into the heart of D.C. this time. My neighborhood was beyond charming – it had that very Virginia colonial vibe that is familiar to an east coaster 🙂
I spent quite a lot of time at several Smithsonian Museums, a network of 17 museums that are completely free to the public. The Museum of Natural History was tres cool – I felt like a little kid again staring up at the majestic animals.
A whole section was dedicated to Geology and crystals…I was in heaven. Crystals naturally came into my life as a recent hobby – I just love looking at them and have begun quite my own collection 🙂
One of my favorite neighborhoods was Adams Morgan, a colorful, eclectic neighborhood straight out of my candyland dream. It was filled with vintage clothing shops, artisan crafts, multicultural food, and quirky murals – very different from the rest of D.C.
Food was to die for in D.C.! Maybe because everything was a fraction of the price of SF food…naturally that made me eat twice as much and spend even MORE than I would in SF, ha.
Another favorite neighborhood was Georgetown. I visited during the evening’s golden hour and the entire neighborhood was lit up with college kids back to school, hanging out at local food spots and chilling by the riverside. Aren’t east coast summers the best? It made me nostalgic for my college days in NYC!
During my walk, I spotted Georgetown Cupcakes which I’ve been DYING to go to for ages. I’m pretty into the cupcake community (if that’s a thing) and Georgetown is one of the OGs in the cupcake work!
And just like that, I’m back at my hotel wrapping up my wonderful few days out here and packing up for my flight to Nicaragua bright-and-early tomorrow. After a pretty antisocial few days, I’m excited to live in a hostel, hopefully meet some fellow backpackers, and most importantly tackle a huge task on my bucket list – LEARN TO SURF!!
And now for some reflection: this summer has been quite the adventure, and you may recall towards the end of July I was feeling overwhelmed with the work-hard-play-hard nature of my summer lifestyle. In August, EVERY week was filled with some kind of travel, but luckily, my spirits are much higher and I don’t feel nearly as burnt out like I did a month ago. My theme this month was “rebirth,” and so I really tried to dedicate every trip doing something for myself and to fill my heart, not just take a trip for the sake of it.
Now that I’m approaching my last trip of the month (and of the summer), Nicaragua, it’s certainly bittersweet. On one hand, I’m genuinely looking forward to adding stability back into my life and staying put in SF for the fall (minus work trips). I feel like my life has been on “hold” as a nomad, and truthfully I’ve been feeling slightly resentful for all these trips to the east coast for work…as much as I love travel, work-travel is another ball game and it’s really starting to take the joy out of something I use to love. While it keeps things new and exciting, it does get quite lonely not spending much time at my home base…
But on the other hand, I’m trying to tell myself to stay present and enjoy these carefree days of not having anyone else to worry about but myself. I know I’ll look back and miss the days when I was nowhere near settled and my life was in “limbo”. I look back on similar “limbo” times in my life (i.e. traveling Europe for 2 months before my first job), and my usual grass-is-always-greener mindset longed for stability and a home base the entire time, all to reach that point and get the travel bug immediately! I know it’s a real challenge for me to stay present – that was actually one of my key takeaways from the spiritual retreat as well – and so I’m making a dedicated effort to stay present in these crazy, undefined, lonely, exciting last few days of my summer. ❤
Lastly, it’s my birthday on Friday!! What better way to ring in 26 years than doing my favorite things: exploring a new country and learning something new. ❤
Be well, my friends!