Goodbye, San Francisco

Aug 16th 2012 · Permalink

I’m turning the figurative dial on my digital radio, trying to find a station that refuses to play this jingle-jangle hipster shit they call music (can’t catch this fish without a hook). I apologize for the French, but cut me some slack. As of late, my commute time has doubled.

Three weeks ago I moved my family (wife and three boys) out of the San Francisco Bay Area. The move was a long time coming, but things had finally peaked and if I wanted to make a change for the better, leaving San Francisco had to be the start. There is a trend starting to surface of people dropping off the face of their proverbial social network, or unfollowing their entire list of “friends” in search of clarity or something more real. I didn’t unfollow anyone, and no I’m still not on Facebook. I took it a step further and left the social network I had built in the Bay for the greener pastures of the central coast of California.

San Luis Obispo (SLO) is where I went to school and met my wife over 15 years ago. It’s nestled mid-way between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It’s God’s country. Rolling hills, ocean bluffs and happy people. In fact, in 2011 Oprah named SLO the “happiest” town in the United States. In a video hosted (rather tragically) by Jenny McCarthy you get a small glimpse of what makes SLO so great—community. A dentist trades services for a painting by a local artist. A bustling Thursday evening Farmers Market is full of live music on every corner and good food at every turn. SLO is a place where (as Jenny says so eloquently) your social networking really has nothing to do with the internet.

Don’t get me wrong we left an awesome community of close friends. I left an amazing community of professionals (hello, gentlemen). I was in the heart of billion dollar, zero-revenue, businesses. Start-ups. Mash-ups. Money. Undeniably, the hub of all things web.  But I gave all these things up for something more, something real. For the past three weeks I’ve been working on the web, but I’m no longer in the web. It feels awesome.

Bold now shares a virtual office. Garrett is still in San Francisco, while Sam has moved to Austin, Texas and Charlie remains in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s bittersweet to be virtual, but at the same time we all work to live, not live to work. So why not love where you live.

Personally, I’ve moved into a new office in the heart of downtown. My new wetsuit is arriving next week and I’ve got an email ready to go out to my bicycling friends inquiring about a future bike purchase. My commute is now two minutes (not a typo). Every evening as I drive home, I continue to surf the radio stations trying to find something with a hook. Even if I never do, I think I’ll be ok with that.

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