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In the summer of 2014, I got my first US visa and planned a three week long trip from the west cost to the east coast, starting in San Francisco. This city was my first American encounter.

And I fell in love in first sight. Falling in love, can one say that about every city they visit? No.

San Francisco on the itinerary on a US trip is a no brainer, it attracts 18.9 million tourists per year; what new story or experience can I possibly share. But I do have one. San Francisco from my lens is about the 5 things that made me fall in love on my short visit.

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Credit: Pintrest/The Beauty Of Travel


1. Landscape of San Francisco

The landscape, the skyline of city when you are riding from airport to the city. The morning walk uphill and downhill to find a breakfast boutique. I had only seen the colorful small Victorian houses in pictures. In real life they were surreal.
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Credit: Nat Ma

2. Openness In The Air

Or you can call it the Californian air. The fact that you can be anyone and do anything (obviously not hurting others) without the judgment. Basically if you don’t fit in anywhere else, you are likely to fit in here.
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3. Vibes Of Bohemian History

You feel it. Take a walk on Haight-Ashbury street and imagine that some decades ago, this street was the place to be. This is where the youth of America rebelled. And this is where peace and love was shared in pipes, papers and gummies.
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4. People; Creative Community

If you also belong to anything related to arts and creativity like me. You will find your tribe-men here, literally any side you turn your head. The city is a mecca for artists and crazy-heads clad in their summer shorts, breezing pass your tourist self on their bicycles, while you are having your share of chilly Sanfran wind.
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5. Palo Alto In An Hour  

When I visited SFO, I was obsessed with the idea of paying a pilgrimage to Steve Jobs house; which was just a 45 minute train ride+10 minute bus ride+15 minute walk away from SFO. Just to drop a bunch of flowers at his doorstep. Jobs is no more, but I felt OMG-I-AM-AT-STEVE-JOBS-DOORSTEP moment. I was emotional and it felt unreal. Besides, Palo Alto’s small town, techy geek people on the bicycle, everyone knows everyone feel was a really unique, beautiful & signature Silicon Valley experience. The kind you see in movies about Apple, Google and Facebook.
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I had not had enough and it was time for me to leave. With a heavy heart and a resolve return soon to experience SFO with more depth, I took an Uber to the airport.