I grew up half an hour north of the iconic Golden Gate bridge. I spent my undergraduate years in the urban sprawl of Berkeley, where the dorms and halls are interspersed throughout the city blending campus and city life seamlessly. I worked in San Francisco, commuting via BART and MUNI, which routes I learned like the wrinkles in my palm. Sometimes I would take the ferry from my hometown into the city, and the symbolic Bay Bridge span would peek through a blanket of mist to greet me on the other side. The Bay Area is, and always will be, the place I call home. But as much as my heart resides there, I didn’t expect myself to stay in the Bay Area forever.
On the other hand, I was always bias against our southern counterpart, Los Angeles. When I think of L.A., I think of traffic congestion, smog, terrible parking, and Hollywood types toting around their designer dogs. Granted, I have never extensively spent time in L.A., or Southern California for that matter, but I never had the desire to. Mickey and Minnie Mouse drew our family in once when I was five, but we were deterred from ever going back again because of the heavy crowds.
L.A. is probably one of the last places I thought I’d relocate. Heck, the United States is far down my list of countries to live in my 20’s. Then again, a baby is one of the last things I wanted in my 20’s too. But now I’ve got Jojo, and she makes me ooze of happiness. And while Chris and I still dream of living and working in Istanbul (and we will – just wait!) developing stability in ourselves, enough for Jojo to grow in a healthy and loving environment, is our most important shared responsibility. For us, that means staying put for a couple of years while we not only make strides in our professional paths, but provide Jojo with great care and attention.
So, out of tremendous generosity from our family, circumstance and strategic planning, Chris, Jo and I are calling the city of angels our home for the next 2 years. A new city, a new home, a new family – it is the perfect recipe for adventure. In the few months our family has been down here, we’ve had the privilege of spending quality time with family and taking strolls through notable places like Rodeo Drive and Venice Beach. There are still many more hikes, restaurants, sporting events, concert venues, beaches… the possibilities are almost endless here. The world is very much our oyster. The Bay Area is a short plane ride away, but I’ve come to realize the notion of ‘home’ has kind of transformed itself to wherever my family is near to enjoy life with, and adventure starts with us.