recently, i returned from my solo trip to san francisco. during the summer, i started playing around with the idea of traveling alone. many people tried to talk me out of it. most either said that i would feel lonely, while others said it was inappropriate for a young women like. i did not listen to them. i went anyways and i am so glad i did! i enjoyed it so much more than i thought i would. not once did i feel alone or out of place. i was able to do whatever i wanted and did not have to consult with anyone. it was incredibly freeing and a rewarding.
so, my first day was kept to a minimum. i did not realize just how small the city is, so i only did what i had planned. i was also super tired. my flight was early in the morning and had only slept a little over three hours. i also had a 2 hour plane delay due to fog, but even more unfortunate i spent that delay entrirely inside the airplane, not the terminal. the first thing i did when i arrived was buy a bus pass (the only mode of transportation i would be using). i must say, san francisco has such a great public transit system. the buses run every 15 minutes and there are so many routes. l.a. needs to pick up their game! i first stopped at the civic center to see the monuments and city hall. i also tried indian food for the first time at the local farmers market.
after, i left towards downtown. it took me awhile to get my bearings straight. i went to mission street and stopped at the moad (museum of the african diaspora) and the cartoon museum. the latter i did not care for, but i really enjoyed the former (especially the interactive exhibit about music and the gallery of posters about the black liberation movement).
after, i walked around downtown and explored. one thing i noticed, and deeply appreciated, was the combination of modern, futuristic structures scattered and the old, historic buildings. throughout downtown (and the city) there are historic buildings from the late 19th century and the early 20th.
st. patrick's catholic church (1851)
during my visit, i stayed where any solo traveler would stay, a hostel (another experience i would recommend anyone to take). my only hesitation was sleeping in a room full of strangers (i am a light sleeper and have trouble sleeping in unfamiliar places in front of unfamiliar people), but it was not that bad. i may have gotten barely any sleep for the first night but it got better. all my room mates were from outside the states (canada, germany, and france) and i got to know most of them pretty well. i really enjoyed the communal environment, a sentiment that surprised me. there were always new people to meet and talk to. i stayed in hostelling international's downtown hostel. it was a beautiful building and extremely clean. in the 1920s and 30s the building was a hotel. today, many of the old features are still there but mixed with modern and vibrant decor.
above is the communal lounge area (pretty much the living room)
and the room. mine had two bunks and a bathroom.
now for a song. i thought i would choose one that reminds me of my trip. even though this song has nothing to do with my experience, before my trip, this song would pop up on my bon iver pandora station when i was at work. i would always become super excited. "san francisco" by gregory alan isakov.