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Philadelphia (from Camden)

2010 began with New Years in Philadelphia with MJ, on his final visit before my move, and our friend Nita.

I then had my final weeks in the Philadelphia area. This final Philadelphia winter turned out to be the snowiest winter in recorded history. What a send off!

In February my apartment was converted to box land and on February 16th, MJ, the cats and I bid farewell to Philadelphia and flew to San Francisco.

My life with MJ in San Francisco these past 10 months has been amazing. Insert all the mushy stuff here :) I miss Philadelphia and certainly miss my friends, but I haven’t for a moment regretted my decision to move out here to be with him.

Conferences! Surprising to many these days, I hadn’t actually been to a tech conference until the spring of 2008. In 2010 I went to 4.

  • Open Source Business Conference (San Francisco)
  • Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit (San Francisco)
  • Ubuntu Developer Summit (Brussels, Belgium)
  • OLPCSF Collaboration Summit (San Francisco)

Plus various Geeknics, LUG meetings, Ubuntu Hours and other Linux events. I’ve never been so active in a local community, and while I have to admit that it was a lot of fun, by the end of the year I was seeking to reclaim some of my free time to get back to core project work. Finding a balance is challenging when there is always so much cool stuff going on, but it’s certainly a wonderful problem to have.

Travel! I hit Silver on the USAir Dividend Miles program. While travel has always been on my list of things I wanted to do, it’s always taken a back seat to more pressing needs. This year I was exceptionally fortunate to get sponsorships and other opportunities that allowed me to travel quite widely and modestly (sponsorship to Belgium, hotel paid for in Dublin).

  • February: Philadelphia to San Francisco (one way – the move!)
  • May: San Francisco to Brussels
  • September: San Francisco to Philadelphia
  • October: San Francisco to Dublin
  • November: San Francisco to Las Vegas
  • November: San Francisco to New Hampshire

For a total of almost 40,000 miles. I have come to the conclusion that (in spite of crazy TSA stuff) I love to fly and I find no shame in being a tourist. Plus I’m infinitely grateful that I’m finally in a position to travel, having the monetary means (including sponsorship opportunities) and flexibility with work so I could travel outside the constraints of typical “2 weeks per year” American vacation time allotment (the conference in Brussels? I was able to use PTO, not vacation time. Philly trip? I worked from the hotel all week.). We also took advantage of a long weekend over the 4th of July to drive to Las Vegas.

When we weren’t traveling or doing local Linux things, we were playing the tourist in our own beautiful city. I love San Francisco, I fell in love when I first visited here in 2008. I love the climate, I love that it’s such a tech mecca, I love the touristy nature of it, I love the food, I love the cable cars, I love the Giants and the A’s! Loving all of this probably means I’m not nearly cool enough to be here, but I do feel at home here. And without a doubt, nothing beats being near an ocean again. The Pacific on a crisp day brings me back to when I found solace in late night walks to ocean in Maine as a teenager and I find a peace that has been elusive for years.

San Francisco (from Alcatraz)

2010 was, without a doubt, one of the best years of my life so far. May 2011 be just as grand.