SF was so awesome! This was my first time using Lyft as I never had a need for it before. Since I didn't know how to use the Lyft app, many travellers around me gladly provided assistance. 

It's actually not that expensive to travel if you watch your spending. The Lyft ride was ~$15 for 15 miles and was very convenient. The Hostels were about $70 a night, but you can find many that are cheaper, especially if you book ahead of time.

Upon arriving at the hostel in downtown SF, I noticed that there were hordes of active homeless people roaming the streets, even at 2AM! It was like a zombie apocalypse. I felt safe once inside. I woke up at 6AM, quickly got ready and headed out to the Google Next conference. Weaving through crowds of homeless people, the type of people you saw gradually transitioned to young techies and vacationers. 

The conference itself was huge! There were multiple convention centers with multiple floors to hold about 25k devs. I met many professionals doing data science/engineering, learned Kubernetes through a tutorial, went to talks on Deep Learning, and talked to many booths. In particular, I loved the booth on supply chain data flow. The Googler there not only knew how to tell a story, but walked you through the journey, the motivation for the tools, and how each user will actually experience the technology. This was by far the most impactful for me as it inspired me to push my presentation and story-telling skills farther.

Google Next Conference

After the conference, I walked through China Town toward my next Hostel at the Fisherman's Wharf. 

Chinatown San Francisco

This hostel was really nice as it was right by the bay. You can literally see the water and breathe the ocean breeze right out from your window. There was a saying on their wall (paraphrased) "Hostels play an important role in sparking global conversations among diverse travelers, building friendships across borders and promoting tolerance internationally". My perspectives have definitely broadened during my stay here and would love to visit again someday!

Fisherman's Wharf

For the next couple of days, I explored the Pier, ate awesome local food (like crepes and vietnamese food), and met local people. For example, at the Crepe store, I met a man named Bill, a nurse, but had a passion for history and old things with a story. We chatted about SF culture, fires, history, and tech.

historical ship tours

He then offered to show me around SF! He walked me through many museums, the Ghirardelli chocolate factory, antique shops, etc. I am definitely grateful for the experience!

ghirardelli chocolate factory

I also noticed that SF locals are generally more fit than Los Angeles locals. This might be because they walk more, where LA locals tend to spend hours a day in cars. This inspired me to get an early start, skip the traffic to work, and work out at my local gym. Let's see if I can make this a habit! 

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