Even though I’ve been on the West Coast for a few weeks now, I’ve still been sticking pretty close to my East Coast sleep schedule. Partly because I just never adjust to jet lag in this direction, and partly because it is pretty convenient to be awake before anyone else in the city.
Around 3am the other night, I woke up and realized that this Monday I’ll have been at Automattic for five years. Some days it feels like I’ve always been here, and other days it feels like no time has gone by at all. I just switched teams recently, so it’s like starting a new job all over again which always keeps things fresh and gives me so much opportunity to learn.
I was hired right before our Grand Meetup in Budapest, so just after seeing all of my coworkers in person each year, I get to celebrate my anniversary. We’re creeping up on 500 people now, which is huge and overwhelming, but it’s still such a rewarding experience to see everyone in person. In fact, it’s almost easier these days because I know I’m not going to get to meet everyone this time around.
This year the Grand Meetup was in Whistler, BC, Canada. I’ve only ever been to Montreal when it comes to Canada, so it was exciting to see a new part of the country. The area was gorgeous. We took a bus ride from Vancouver airport up to Whistler and there were rainbows in the sky on the way. It was a bit magical, really.
During the week, a couple of us went to Train Wreck Trail. Apparently it’s a pretty new trail that leads through the forest, over the river (literally), and to a train wreck that has since been graffitied and used as a mountain biking trail. It was hard to find, but we came across a few other wanderers along the way and eventually reached what we were looking for.
The nice thing about Whistler, too, is that there’s a little village, so it was super easy to take a walk around when you needed to get some time outside of the hotel. There were a bunch of cute little shops, cafes, and friendly dogs. I think I freaked a few people out by staring at their dogs deciding if I should ask to pet them or not.
After the Grand Meetup, I stayed a few days in Vancouver with some great friends/coworkers as well. I was originally expecting to explore on my own, so it was a nice surprise to have company. Plus, I needed it. After being around hundreds of people for a week, it takes me a little while to adjust to being alone, so this was like being able to wean myself back to solo mode.
Yaletown was the home base for my three days in Vancouver, but one day we rented bicycles and rode all the way from Stanley Park to the University of British Columbia (22k!) to go to the Anthropology Museum. It was worth it though. The museum was amazing and had a wonderful mix of native art from the area, modern art, and a collection of artifacts from all over the world. I’d love to go back again.
The one place that really stood out was The Elbow Room Cafe, which is a cute little diner with an attitude. It’s basically a restaurant with a parental advisory, where the waiter roasts you while you eat. For example, they’ll bring you your first cup of coffee, but, according to the menu, you have to get off your ass for any refills. Honestly, I think it felt like being back home – I need my daily dose of biting sarcasm in order to function properly.
About two weeks ago, I hopped a plane from Vancouver down to Los Angeles, which is where I am now. After my trip in July, I contemplated moving out west because I really liked the city a whole lot more than I expected. Instead of diving in feet first, again, I decided to book an Airbnb for a month to see how I’d like it.
So far? I miss home. Which, to me, is a success. I need to know where I want to be, which involves being where I don’t want to be. That said, LA has treated me pretty well so far, except I don’t handle traffic or all the positivity that well and you can see me oscillating between dancing to the radio and yelling at the road any time I need to go somewhere.
This weekend, I’m exploring a little more, doing hikes, catching up with people. It’s good. I may not stay here forever, but I’m glad to be here right now.