Why Some Places Call to You Again and Again

Stop Look Enjoy reminder

Last year, I visited San Francisco.

Sam's Log Cabin, Berkeley

I was yearning to breathe free of stifling DC, and so planned a trip to a place I knew I loved to explore, and added a few activities with people I loved to be with. I had an awesome trip (a short one, at 4 days, that packed a punch).

Then I went home to DC.

 

 

 

San Francisco building

This year I returned to San Francisco with the glorious excuse of it being on the way to Yosemite, where I was headed for a quadrennial Family Reunion (posts coming soon!).

I once again got lost in the foliage, the sea air, the cityscapes.

Union Street Papery graphic

Oakland gondolier

And yet, when I contemplate the life change of moving cross-country, I shy away from SF- why is that? The city calls to me, and I know I would love living there, but my mind stops at the “Oh, but it’s so expensive” line. Hmph. Apparently the ninja is not yet ready to be trained…

I’ve done some reading about places, how environment affects one’s thinking, and experimented with some of my own place-based habits. I still find there are locations that seem to call to me. Scotland is one of those places. San Francisco is another. It varies. It may be an attempt to balance what the mind believes is an imbalance:

Too much citified noise and agitation? –> go to the quiet, misty hills of Scotland

Not enough creative energy amid the strait-laced DC crowd? –> let loose with the hipsters and entrepreneurs of the Bay Area

But I also think it might just be that some places make you feel at home, and they call you. Where do you feel you belong?

San Francisco blue day hill

 … and is that where you currently live?

Books Fly in San Francisco

Do I need a more obvious sign that this is where I should be?

4 Responses to Why Some Places Call to You Again and Again

  1. As much as I like living in Scotland, the weather in San Fran would swing it for me if I had to choose 😉

  2. My favorite place close to home is Hickory Run State Park. It’s less than an hour from me but something about that area – the forest? the lake? has always been instant stress relief for me.

    If I can travel a bit further, I love NY State; especially Hudson Valley and the Catskills. I haven’t made it up to the Adirondacks yet, but I want to.

    These areas are special to me, but I don’t know if I would want to live in them full time unless I’m retired. I’d want to be able to go outside every day to enjoy where I’m living to the fullest.

  3. A couple of years ago, I visited my cousin who lives in NC, in a small town about an hour from Asheville. This was the first time I had visited her, the first time I had been to that state. But the feeling of “home” was overwhelming. The small town, the mountains, the people. It just felt…. right.

    I live in Florida, and while we do have some awesome small towns, we don’t have the mountains… and maybe that’s part of it, I don’t know. But even though 90% of my family is here, I don’t feel like it’s “home”.

    I’m up for moving anywhere, and it’s possible with my fiance’s job… but it would have to be near a bigger city. So we’ll see!

    • Ah, yes, that often-elusive “home” feeling! Didn’t feel it in Paris, or Istanbul, or Naples, but they all had the benefit of being wonderfully exciting places to visit. I wonder what makes up that feeling, whether it’s scientifically explained by where you grew up or something more to do with your personality… interesting topic!

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