Hang on to the beauty

I’ve been in San Francisco for just over a week now, and it’s definitely been an experience and a different change of pace for me. I’ve been in a mix of emotions from excitement to frustration to embracing the unknown and the adventure. That’s just all a part of being somewhere new.

I pride myself of loving everywhere I go, or embracing adventures of all forms, but sometimes all you want is some familiarity in the midst of all the frustration. I remember coming to SF about two years ago, and not quite enjoying it as much as I thought I would. But this time, I told myself it’d be different. I’d be working, meeting people every day, and I’ll see SF from a different light. Perhaps it’s still too early on to really make an opinion on the city, but you know how sometimes you just know how you feel about a place? A gut reaction you may call it. My gut reaction to SF and to my new life here for the next 6 weeks aren’t the hottest, but nonetheless, I’m incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to live here and explore- even for a short period of time.


Yesterday, I went on a day tour with The Flying Marmot Tours to Northern California, including the Sonoma Valley. We hiked Mount Tamalpais, wine tasted in Sonoma Valley, and simply explored the beauty of the coast. Mount Tamalpais is a fairly close drive from SF and is a hidden gem. The best place to see the fog from above that’s normally covering up the Golden Gate bridge.

The photo above is taken in Sonoma Valley in Goat Rock Beach. The view is absolutely stunning especially with the sun setting and reflecting off the waters. Despite the windiness, I could’ve sat out there just staring into the ocean hours. Ideally, with a hand to hold and a body to keep me warm observing the personalities of the waves- each unique from each other- crashing into the rocks and retreating back into sea.

I imagined myself as a wave, just strolling along the sea day by day- crashing up onto shore, welcoming strangers to come into my life and hopefully giving them the best time of their lives during our brief interactions. Then sometimes before we get to shore, we get distracted by a really large rock and I can’t help but crash hard. I have no idea how waves feel, but in imagining myself as a wave, all I’d want to do is leave that beach and head to the next cove- but sometimes you just have to keep at it.

You have to keep moving towards shore, through the big rocks that get in the way. If only you’re moving for the people waiting at shore, the people who are waiting for that rush of love to come crashing in, the people who see your beauty even when you can’t see it yourself. When I look out at Goat Rock Beach from above, I remember to hang on to the wonders of giant rocks, the magic of waves, and the beauty of low moments.

Published by Joanne Lam

📍 Toronto | STRONG w Joanne 💪 MovNat ACE & Agatsu Kettlebell Certified 🎯 Commit Confidence Consistency

2 thoughts on “Hang on to the beauty

  1. You’re not alone in having a “gut feel” about a place you’re visiting or even re-visiting. I have a bad “gut feel” for an iconic European city, I’m too embarrassed to admit which one, other than to say that I didn’t enjoy any of the times I’ve visited. Just go with the flow, using your water metaphor. Having said all that, I hope to one day re-visit SF as that was one city I simply couldn’t get enough of.

    1. Thanks for feeling with me! Sometimes the cities and places we feel most drawn to are the least touristy/popular places and that’s what is absolutely incredible about traveling and the connection within traveling. I hope you can make it back here to SF as well!

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