Chasing America – San Francisco, California

California!

Blue sky, cool and breezy weather, stunning scenery of sunset and mountain ranges, and contrasting city vibe – made this trip interesting, memorable and a dream come true.

When I was younger, I have always thought of traveling but never imagined that this time will come. Traveling made me realize that I am living an extraordinary life. Not everybody has the chance to see the beauty of life and how amazing our world as I see it now. Slowly, I am realizing hidden dreams, to discover how amazing the world is and to live life to the fullest.

After my recent trip, I revisited my old notebook and started a new bucket list – Chasing America. And I know this is not far from reality.

Last November, an opportunity came by surprise, without any plans, I contacted friends and saying, “I am finally coming”. And in silence, I was shouting, AMERICA HERE I COME! I booked my ticket to San Francisco, planned my itinerary, researched and asked friends where to go, what not to miss, all sorts of preparation.

I never had any high expectation for my first ever trip in the United States. I planned to go from West to East, without even thinking of the travel time needed between these places. I was so ambitious! After my research (flights, travel time and all), I realized it cannot be done, so I ended up canceling my plan to New York City and went for a guided tour instead, which was the best decision for this trip.

My journey started in San Francisco, California.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco California

The cool and breezy city with contrasting vibe has captivated my heart as I strolled leisurely around the city. For some, it may be a tiring walk because of the uphill streets, but I loved every moment of it.

I started early and walked to the crooked street called Lombard St. It was not an easy morning walk but it was surely an unforgettable one. Little did I know that I was heading to the bottom of the street, so I have to walk all the way up just to feel and soak in the beautiful view from the top. The one-way hill gives you a glimpse of Victorian houses and good view of San Francisco houses. This crooked street has eight sharp turns are said to make it the most crooked street in the world.

Lombard St.
Victorian Houses view from the top. This view made me want to live here!

On top of the Lombard Street, I rode the Hyde St. cable car, all the way down to Hyde St. Pier, one of the attractions found along the stretch of Fisherman’s Wharf.

Hyde Pier
What a gloomy weather at Hyde St. Pier

I walked along Hyde Street Pier and enjoyed the view of some of the national landmark vessels. These vessels are called “floating museum”. The largest ship that lives at the pier is called the Balclutha and you can actually go aboard the ship and tour inside.

Balclutha, also known as Star of Alaska, Pacific Queen
Balclutha, also known as Star of Alaska, Pacific Queen
One frame for these historic ships (Balclutha, C.A. Thayer, Eppleton Hall, Eureka) at Hyde St. Pier
Strolling Marina neighborhood with the famous Golden Gate Bridge

I was just following my google map towards the iconic Palace of the Fine Arts where it led me to that quiet and relaxing stroll along the Hyde Pier coastline with a great view of the famous Golden Gate Bridge. The feeling is surreal!

I reached The Palace of the Fine Arts after walking for 30 minutes on the quiet Marina neighborhood.

I must admit the place is beautiful, it has a different charm, but maybe it’s just me, but the place seemed lacking. I do not know what my expectation was, but it was overrated. It can be because of the gloomy weather where it made my photos too dull and lifeless.

But then again, I must say, it was beautiful but forgettable. Some may disagree, but that is fine. I just was not enticed by its beauty, that’s all.

My first day in San Francisco gave me the time to refocus and reevaluate myself. It gave me the chance to think through my past decisions, where I am now and where I am going. I took the stroll not only to burn the over the top American breakfast calories but to really look into what life has offered me these past years and how blessed I was and took those into another perspective. I am now ready to look forward to what is in store for me in the future and this trip helped me to bring that fire back to keep me going.

While having the personal reevaluation, I also got the chance to just sit down and breathe by the beach and was mesmerized by the beauty of the famous Golden Gate Bridge as the backdrop. This story deserves its own page of storytelling, so I will reserve this experience on my next post.


On a side note, I booked my stay at the USA Hostel San Francisco, which I totally recommend. The hostel location is perfect for those who wanted to see the rest of downtown. At first, I was very cautious because the neighborhood seemed to be “not so” safe, but I was wrong. My stay at the hostel was close to perfection.

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