Upon arriving in a new culture, city, state, time zone & climate, it’s been brought to my attention that we are temporarily poor. This always happens when I move, or go on any trip. All my savings that I’ve worked so hard to save up for “life” are pulled out from under me. Afterwards, I have to lay low for the next month. This time, it will be several months because A, it was such a big move, and B, I’m looking for work in addition to my freelance. This is why I don’t travel much. If I had unlimited funds I’d be traveling somewhere awesome at least once a month. But alas. The good news is that there’s lots of ways to have a fulfilling life without spending money. I didn’t say I’m not insanely tempted here, moving from such a small town in the midwest (small town by my east coast suburban standards) to such a hip city with all the diversity and variety in food, restaurants, bakeries, artsy boutiques, eco home stores, everything! So many resources are at my fingertips now, whereas in Urbana, there were a lot of gems in town for sure, but it was definitely limited. Here’s a little list of what I’ve been doing with my time, not spending money in San Francisco.
- Biking/Running/Walking: My favorite, because it accomplishes two crucial things at once, exercising, and familiarizing myself with the city.
- Going on tours or walks with groups in the city: SFCityGuides. Although I haven’t gone on any of these yet, they are a wonderful blessing to have provided for FREE in the city. It keeps raining here, I’m hoping for a sunny day when I can take advantage, my goal is to do them all eventually! I am also a member of a few groups on MeetUp. I joined a Walk Group and the first walk I was going to go to sounded super cool, but it was raining hard the whole day, so I bailed. I know myself, and I get cold easily, and I’m finding that the winter weather here is tolerable, but to be outside when it’s raining and windy is te-suck.
- Cooking in my own little castle in a box (my abode): As usual, but this time I do it fully with joy and energy, without the yucky exhaustion that comes from working a full day outside, commuting a half hour to and fro, and feeling famished and depleted thereafter, and oh yeah, dinner.
- Farmer’s Market Missions: I have loved exploring the new markets in town here. There is one right outside our complex, we are so lucky, the Fillmore Market.
- But there are several larger ones in the city, so far I’ve been to the Heart of the City (Civic Center) Market, The Ferry Building Market, and the Divisadero Market. I like all of them, and there’s still more to see. Many think going to the market is more expensive, it’s actually most affordable if you get the right things, like fruits and veggies that are in season. What’s awesome in California is that, in the winter, there IS a farmer’s market at all, and for most of the year, many things are in season! It’s loverly.
- Painting, sewing, crafting, arting: Finished a bunch of small projects that put me only somewhat-behind on my stuff as opposed to embarrassingly behind. But then again, who’s schedule am I on? MINE. I’ve been brainstorming some jewelry makin’. Pictures coming soon.
- Reading (bonus for reading outside in a park on a sunny day in February): I had gotten out of reading for years, for no particular reason, just a mix of being focused on other things, and not really finding the right books of interest. Well, since I’ve been here, I’ve finished up The Joy Diet, The 5 Love Languages, and Loving What Is. Being an INFP, I am very introspective and have a strong interest in relationships and happiness. These books have been really helpful for me. Reading is a part of my therapy, to nurture these qualities of mine.
- Studying design software and looking for opportunities for work: Yeah, applying to jobs. This is a whole ‘notha post. This is the thang I have to kick myself to do, because who likes when complete strangers define you daily by your resume and portfolio link? It’s…not the sexiest. I’m basically homeschooling myself to continue learning the design software that I use for my work. I’m really thankful to have the time to do so now, as it is difficult to find the time for challenging myself with design projects outside of regular work, away from all my other work. Make sense?
- Thrifting (if you absolutely want to spend money): Oh yess. This is how much of a frugal nerd I am, I was ecstatic to encounter all the thrift happiness that lives in San Fran. With any big city, the thrift stores will be significantly higher quality, because there are more people living there to donate, and there are higher income people donating nicer and more diverse things that are less used. With San Fran especially in tune to the eco-conscious perspective, the thrift stores here are niiice and plentiful. There is a Goodwill a few blocks from my castle in a box. I remember being depressed at the thrift store selection in Champaign-Urbana when I moved from Cincinnati, but I got used to it y’know. But NOW….::drooool:: I’ve been good though, only picked up a few things so far for the home: a cd rack (used as a shoe rack, stylish), a small glass pitcher for my regular batches of Turmeric Tea, a few closet storage devices, and I think that’s it.
So there you have it, not spending money in San Francisco. Can you dig it?