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Oh, the places you’ll go!

As some of you may know, I recently moved to northern California from Los Angeles County. And I have to say, it is different up here. Moving to a place where nobody knows your name is an awesome and terrifying experience. It is almost like when you go to the beach and the water is super cold, but you know that once you’re in you’ll get used to it and won’t want to get out –except this takes longer.

People tell you that it can be a chance to start over and be who you really are because nobody has any expectations of you. You hear things like, “you’re a friendly person, you’ll have no problem there,” and “I give you a month before you decide to come back.”

This isn’t the first time I do this, and I’m just now starting to notice a pattern.

1. Feeling excited. New place, new toilet, new foods, new weather. It feels like when you’re a kid and you’re going to get to go to Disneyland the next day.

2. Minor freak out. Oh crap, new place, new toilet, new food, new weather. Will I like it? What if I starve? What if my butt isn’t compatible with the new toilet?

3.  Settling in. It is nice, for a little bit. Then it is quiet for a while; nothing is going on, nobody that you know is around for hundreds of miles and you can do whatever you want! Yeah!

4. Questioning your choices. Maybe you should’ve thought about this move some more.

5. Adjusting. You soon discover your favorite places to eat, favorite coffee house, you meet new people and for some reason end up meeting those who are also new to the area. Birds of a feather poop together, I guess. (poop?)

There are a few things that are strange about new places. People have different ways of saying things. Here, people say “hella” and at first I thought it was a word like “hello” but it turns out it means “hell of” ..sort of.. like “that’s a hell of a lot of diapers” translates to “that’s hella lot of diapers”. The metro is “VTA” or “trolley”, and the hobos are quite talkative. Mostly they talk to themselves, but hey, to every man his lemonade.

When you ask for a recommendation (like the best burrito around), people will give you a bunch of street names and landmarks that you have no clue about. “Oh yeah, take a left on Market St and its right by the Convention Center.. past Phoebe’s.” Then, when they realize you’re confused, they try an alternative explanation, followed by “Where are you from?”

Another thing is that you always seem to be taking the long route to get to places. Once you find a way to get to a place, you keep taking it until you are certain that you can get there via another route. We like familiar things. Which is also why you probably frequent the same shops and restaurants until the shop owners begin to know you by name. The morning shift server at a Denny’s knows my “usual” already. Score!

A new place gives you a completely different perspective on people and your own life. You suddenly realize that there is a whole other world different than yours. Sort of like discovering “the others” on the island on the TV show “Lost.” You realize how tiny you really are, and how you could’ve gone your whole life without experiencing a new area with different people, better coffee, and colder weather.

What was YOUR experience like when you moved to a new place? If you haven’t, would you ever consider doing so? How did/would you keep in touch with old friends? How did/would you make new ones?

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11 Comments
  1. Angie West #

    I would love love love to move to a new place-but not a big city. Those scare me. I’m directionally impaired-the time I spent in Chicago about ten years ago convinced me that me and a large population density is not a good thing at all. The worst part for me was trying to take my time and be slow on the roads because I had no idea where the hell I was going and people kept honking at me. Oh yeah and trying to merge from the fast lanes on the highway.

    The best thing about a new place is that it’s CLEAN 🙂
    The places on my wish list of places to move are: Cheyenne Wyoming, Alaska (anywhere), Canada (anywhere) and Minnapolis (which will never happen, but it looks so pretty in pictures and I once read a novel that made it sound like the greatest city in North America). I think after that I’d want to move around to a few warmer places and thaw out for a while, as much as I love the snow.

    Congrats on your move! And the new toilet!

    November 7, 2013
    • Haha, thanks!

      So you’re more of a small-city/town kind of person. At least you got a chance to discover that on your own, some people dream about moving to a big city without realizing it may not even be the best fit for them.

      Wyoming, Alaska, Canada… sounds like you want to turn into an ice cube! Hey, those places also have a lot of open spaces. Fields, trees.. ah, that sounds nice 🙂

      November 7, 2013
  2. I moved from ‘up North’ near Alaska to where we are now, ‘down South’ to Victoria. Yes, I understand this is all relative given that I live in Canada. It is nice that I am part of a ‘we’- it makes it easier to venture out because I’m not entirely alone. What I loved was the sense of adventure in finding new things: restaurants, friends (which can take awhile), routines…it can be hard keeping in touch but the internet makes it easier. I imagine it would be fun to live in Southern California. I’ve always wanted to live in Portland.

    November 7, 2013
    • 🙂

      The sense of adventure. Yes!

      I hear Oregon is beautiful. Living in Portland would be very nice, it reminds me of that show “Portlandia” hahaha.. too funny. I don’t know how you guys live up there, in the cold. Living in Southern California all my life, I’m used to warm temperatures even in the winter!

      November 7, 2013
      • That show is hilarious! Yes, it’s a lovely city I want to spend more time in. While some places are cold here, it’s probably not too different from Northern California. Heck, the year Vancouver hosted the Olympics-we had no snow!

        November 8, 2013
  3. I like a new place. In fact where I am now is probably the longest I’ve been in one place as an adult. It was exciting moving into this house with my new husband – three toilets! One each upstairs and one downstairs to share with guests, brilliant! No queueing 😀

    But they are annoying to flush and have weird angular bits so they are hard to clean. But still, we like having so many.

    My favourite new place was when I lived in Oslo, Norway, by myself for 6 months studying, that was amazing.

    November 8, 2013
    • Ah, that is the life. Three toilets..

      Norway! That sounds exciting, and very far (well, from me). I’ve never been an ocean away from home!

      November 8, 2013
  4. Hella is kinda of like “very” as well or “really”. Hella will always be part of my vocabulary no matter what!

    Moving is always a crapshoot. You never know if you like it until 3-6 months later. But life’s an adventure! Try new things and you’ll find out!

    November 8, 2013
    • It’s funny, the public wifi here is called “Wickedly Fast Wifi”.. did they think this is Boston? Really should’ve gone with “Hella Fast Wifi” hahaha!

      November 9, 2013
  5. Interesting, I never realized that “hella” was a regional word. It makes sense though, as the band Hella was from Sacramento, and their first album “Hold Your Horse Is” had a bit of CA’s state flag worked into it.

    November 9, 2013
    • Yeah, and I had no idea it was a word. Like, at all.

      November 9, 2013

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