Oakland, California - flowers and Victorian houses. Love the colors!

Hey, everyone!

The last few days I’ve been out in California, soaking up the sun and learning first-hand why pretty much everyone moves out here. I’m technically in town for a work conference that begins today (Monday). However, since I’m always willing to take advantage of free lodging and exploring new places, a coworker and I flew out on Friday evening to see San Francisco and Oakland.

Right now I’m in Berkeley, since the conference takes place on the University of California campus. San Fran and Oakland were both great, but something about Berkeley has really captured my heart so far. Let’s be honest, though: pretty much all of California has captured my heart.

This is the first time I’ve taken a far-away trip by myself in, like, forever. It might actually be my first true solo adventure, even though I’m with two coworkers (I don’t know them too well, but I certainly know them better now). Traveling by myself is so different than having Sam, family, or long-time friends by my side, and I’m trying to make the most of the experience. If you want to join in from afar, just listen to this song on repeat—it’s been stuck in my head for like two weeks as I’ve prepped to come out here:

I hope to have some recaps (and lots of photos!) to share with you in the next week or so. In the meantime, you can always follow along on Instagram or Snapchat (user: mstych). Or you can wait until I get everything all typed up on this blog. Either way, California is so inspiring that it’s impossible for me to not want to share it!

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