Dear SF

Dear SF,

We’ve been together almost 20 years now… We’ve had some really incredible times, but I think its time for me to see other cities.

I do still love that every day you see someone in a costume, that it’s hard to find a bad meal here, and pretty much every restaurant has multiple options for vegetarians. I still think you can be a gorgeous city with your brightly coloured Victorians, beautiful bridges, and the fog nestled at the base of Sutro Tower. And I will certainly miss all of my amazing friends and the passionate community of weirdos that live here.

Though there are many things that I still love about you, I’m no longer in love with you… I’m tired of being labelled the evil techie who is “ruining the city” again (once during the dot com boom, and now). I’m tired of the 3-4 hour daily commute – anyone who says those buses are a luxury obviously hasn’t ridden on them day after day. (You really have to want to live in SF badly in order to do that commute five times a week.) I hate seeing the homeless problem growing, not knowing how to help, and feeling like the city just doesn’t care. And I’m saddened that the Castro is turning into a dirty strip of empty storefronts and broken car windows, while my already ridiculously expensive rent continues to increase every year.

I’d like to fall back in love with you, SF, so I think we need some time apart. And I hope that when I return I’ll have the energy to enjoy all the wacky events, tiny street fairs, museums, and shows that are always happening. But for now, it’s time for me to hit the road…


Sell All The Things!

After talking to several people who had their stuff damaged while in storage, I’ve decided to get rid of as much as possible. I’m leaving a few things with friends, have converted old photos and videos to digital, and am otherwise selling or donating as much as possible.

I’ve been working on this since February… If you’re planning something similar, I recommend starting early so it doesn’t turn into an overwhelming panic at the end.

Here’s what worked best:

Facebook: There are a ton of specialty groups on Facebook these days. It was fastest and easiest to make an album of photos of stuff for sale with prices and descriptions and cross-post to various groups. This worked out especially well for bellydance costuming, Fluevog shoes, and jewelry. And my friends wound up buying a lot of stuff, too.

eBay: While this gets you the largest audience, shipping is tough to estimate and both eBay and PayPal will be taking a percentage of what you earn. This worked best for vinyl and some random designer stuff like eyeglasses, purses, etc. You earn more than used clothing stores, but it takes a lot more work (especially the shipping part).

Crossroads Trading: The good news is you can now drop your stuff off and come back 24 hours later to see the results. This means you don’t have to watch the staff make insulting faces as they go through your clothes. 🙂 You only get 35% cash value, but I live next door to one so it was the most convenient way to get rid of a large volume of clothing.

SF Provident: will buy fine jewelry. This was a great tip from a friend – its an incredibly classy & secure place in downtown SF where they evaluate the stones and metal and offer you cash for it.

Next Door: This is a smaller community, so you’re not as likely to be successful but its a lot less crazy and you know the people live closeby. I used this for furniture and computers.

Craig’s List: If you like haggling & scammers, this is the place for you! You can sell things quickly, but people are constantly flaking out, trying to negotiate you down to nothing, or in the case of electronics, attempting all sorts of crazy scams. This is pretty much my last resort – its effective, but can drive you crazy.

Goodwill: And when all else fails, I drop stuff at Goodwill and take the receipt for tax deductions. The drop-off point at Mission & Van Ness is particularly easy – just drive up and they help you unload your car. And I really like that this organization is more than just recycling stuff – they create a lot of jobs and training for people who have a tough time finding employment.




The Plan

Everyone keeps asking if I’m going to blog about my adventures, so I figure this is a good time to start…Here’s a rough plan of where we are headed, though I expect most of this will change:

Empty the apartment, figure out how to get a year’s worth of clothing into a bag I can carry without a fork lift, panic.

Road trip the southern US before I sell my car: Rachel & Stefan’s Epic Road Trip on Roadtrippers

June & July
Europe! Plans include Copenhagen, Paris, Duisburg, London.. will you be in Europe this summer? Let’s meet up!

July 28-Aug 8
Back to SF for a friend’s wedding (not mine, everyone, calm down) and to prep for…

August & September
…Africa! It starts with a gorilla trek in Rwanda, followed by Tanzania for a game safari, then we’ll figure out the rest. I’m currently thinking Zanzibar, Mozanbique, Botswana, and South Africa.

Dubai & Singapore?

Southeast Asia: Thailand, Malaysia, Phillippines, Vietnam?


New Zealand

India & Sri Lanka

Japan for cherry blossoms!