After more than five years in Washington D.C. and its greater metro area, my wife, daughter and I uprooted at the beginning of March to plant ourselves in the Bay Area. I grew up on the West Coast — albeit a bit north of here — so there’s a part of this move that feels like coming home. The way people talk and dress is familiar: a subtle informality, always at ease in the changing weather. Yet California is an altogether different planet; as they say, a State of Mind. The landscape here, like none I’ve seen anywhere else in the world, is enough to testify to that.
The changes in my professional life are similarly invigorating. I learned much — and got to see a fair bit of the world — while reporting about U.S. trade policy for Inside U.S. Trade. Now, I’m covering the Bay Area’s tech companies and the law firms that go to battle for and against them at The Recorder. It’s an interesting time to write about these industries, with “gig economy” companies like Uber under constant courtroom assault and shifts in the way big money is funneled into lawsuits.
The move West was a big one, although perhaps not as dramatic our move from Wisconsin to South Korea, now eight years ago. Among all the changes, perhaps the most impressive one for my wife J., a midwesterner, has been the water. It’s amazing to her (and to our daughter, and hey, to this born-and-bred Puget Sounder as well) that we can drive less than an hour and find ourselves at the edge of the open ocean.
The other weekend, we did just that: rode out over the Richmond Bridge, through the grassy, oak-covered hills of Marin, and arrived at Point Reyes National Seashore. We pitched a little half tent against the wind and made the beach our home for a morning. It still bewilders us that we can do that.
In those moments out in the sun, the shift in cadence makes it feel like we’re on vacation, like maybe this isn’t real. Whenever time allows, we explore the bounds of this new existence. In the past couple months, we’ve ridden the boat to Angel Island, gone south to check out Pacifica, and rambled among cows closer to home in the East Bay.
With all these new experiences, I hope to begin writing here more frequently, about our time out of doors, our travels, and subjects further afield that take my interest like Korean politics. With the rise of Twitter, a lot of people say that blogging is dead. But I hope that I’ll find more to say than I can put in 140 characters.