To start, the Bay Area is so different from Michigan. People try to ask me to describe the differences between the two, so I’ll try here. There are just so many little things that I have noticed and am not used to that differ completely from my home life.
This has been my first experience living outside of Michigan, which may be why I’m noticing all of these differences, but it’s overall been a really cool experience to have.
I’ll start with the weather. Obviously, Michigan does not have palm trees, but we also have very obvious seasons in Michigan. The Bay Area doesn’t get snow, they obviously have warmer months and colder months, but the temperature is typically around 65 degrees here. I will say though, I expected that since it’s California, it would be warmer, but this is Northern California so that really does make a difference. Let’s just say I’m glad I packed long sleeves and sweaters!
But, the Bay Area does have micro climates throughout the city as well as fog that clouds the days sometimes. It’s very cool to get on the train to SF and be surprised each day by the abundance of fog or the lack thereof. Every day is different, and it keeps living here and planning out my wardrobe very interesting.
The Bay Area as a whole is also a lot hillier and mountainous than Michigan. Sometimes you’ll walk down a completely flat street and the next block will have an impossible looking large hill to climb. The landscape in the Bay Area is so unique, especially when compared to Michigan. Michigan is so much flatter, which is great for bikers but has less character in my opinion.
I’ve also enjoyed the difference in plant life in the two areas. The Bay Area has a lot of beautiful succulents and palm trees growing outside as well as some more unique species of trees and flowers that are not present in Michigan. Michigan obviously has trees that are used to having a fall and a winter, while here in the Bay Area they do not undergo the same phenomenon. Both areas still have pine trees and some of the more common species we see in Michigan, but it’s interesting to notice the differences between some species in these very different climates.
Compared to Lapeer, Michigan where I grew up, the Bay Area is so different. This is a big city, where Lapeer is a small town. Ann Arbor is a bit of a happy medium between the two options and prepared me for some of the sights I’ve been seeing here in the city. One of which is the population of homeless individuals in the city. It is rather large in SF, especially since the cost of living here is so astronomical.
As well, I’m enjoying all of the events that happen every weekend. There is always something happening here, and that’s what I enjoy the most about the city. I’ve been to countless unique events that I never would have had the opportunity to be a part of in Michigan. One of my favorites was called Corgi Con which was on Ocean Beach. There was a large gathering of an estimated 950 corgi’s, their owners, and people who came from far and wide to see them, like me. It was one of the cutest things I had gone to in the area so far. I’ve had the opportunity to become involved in this large community in such unique ways this summer that I am so thankful for.
I have enjoyed my time here is the Bay Area so far despite all the differences from my home life. I enjoy having the opportunity to live in a completely new place and engage in new activities I never had before. I feel like I have grown so much this summer in such immense ways, from feeling confident navigating myself around a large city, being more independent, to feeling excited rather than scared when leaving the house to explore on my own. Relocating to the Bay Area for my internship has helped me grow immensely as a person both in the workplace and outside of it.