Recently I moved from Paris to San Francisco, where I work for Lookout, and one of the first challenges that I had to face on my arrival was to find a place to live. If you don’t know it yet, finding a place in the Bay Area (and in San Francisco in particular) is very difficult due to the sky high rents, so instead of looking to rent a place downtown, I decided to widen my research a little bit to either the East Bay or the Peninsula.
The East Bay presents a couple advantages like being substantially cheaper than any other region in the Bay Area and a fast commute to San Francisco thanks the BART connection, but it also suffers from insecurity (specially in Oakland) and downtown Berkeley has too much of a campus feeling to it. So I knew rapidly that the Peninsula would be more appropriate for me, and the first place that I visited there was Menlo Park. As my first impression of the city was good and as the apartment itself was well located and also had a lot of space, I decided to call Menlo Park home.
Of course, during that period, a lot of people were asking me whether I found a place yet and when they knew that I decided to live in Menlo Park, their reaction was always the same and could be summarized as: What the hell are you going to do in Menlo Park, it’s very far from San Francisco and you’ll spend most of your time commuting! My response? I don’t care since I will be seated.
Exactly. Everyday, I spent nearly 2h in the train and I enjoy every second of it as it allows me to take my time. Taking the time, is the simplest thing that we can’t seem to be able to do anymore in this ultra-connected world. Nowadays we are so connected to everything that we are always busy doing a lot of things even when we don’t want to. It’s like we are living in constant interruption and being constantly interrupted prevents you from feeling the pleasure of enjoying one activity at a time.
So thanks to my new commute, I can now take my time to:
– Read. I am not talking about reading my Twitter feed or unrelated blog posts, but about quality reading.
– Close my eyes and relax. Yes just that, I just try to focus on my breathing and listen to the environment that surrounds me.
– Reflect on the course of my life. It is very important to take a step back from your everyday life and think about what’s going well, what’s not going so well and what actions you can take to improve it.
Finally, I found that Menlo Park is a great place where you could not only enjoy the nature but also have all the commodities close enough and that’s just the icing on the cake.
How about you? Do you have the occasion to unplug from everything during your day or do you live in constant interruption?