What’s up San Jose! A quiet city, at least when compared to San Francisco, but nonetheless a decent city. Somewhat similar to Adelaide, I began to realise that while travelling you see many similarities between places and people you meet and see abroad and back home. Take San Jose, for instance. A small city with architecture dating back to the early 1900’s contrasted with modern skyscrapers. In the centre there is a large communal park, and an outdoor mall with many similarities to those back home. Just add the gridded roads and you’ve got a replica of Adelaide. Philadelphia is basically a larger scale of Adelaide. Five parks within the city, a river towards the edge and gridded roads. Don’t even get me started on the people I’ve met with uncanny resemblances to my friends back home!

Back to San Jose. A day trip downtown took us to many hipster cafes and cool sights. One of the highlights was the San Jose Museum of Art. An exhibition by Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo, ‘Border Cantos’, portrayed to unseen, human reality of the border between Mexico and the United States. Powerful pictures and imagery certainly evoked emotions that I could connect to, but it was extremely interesting learning about the state of the border. I could talk about it for hours, but I won’t bore you.

While we stayed in San Jose for the rest of our time in California, we were pretty much commuting back and forth to San Francisco on the train daily. Pro tip: The CalTrain is a very cheap and easy way to travel from San Francisco to San Jose and back.

San Francisco was indeed a gem of a city. I fell in love with the architecture, the tall buildings, the bay area, the people, the bridges. Before I heard the going prices for houses on the outskirts of the city I actually began picturing myself living here! Never mind that though. We spent the days we had in this beautiful city walking, eating pastries, finding cheap food, walking, walking on bridges, walking on piers and did I mention walking? My trusty phone tells me we walked over 50km in San Francisco, taking close to 70,000 steps across just 3 days! Tiresome, but extremely worth it. We got to see the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, The Palace of Fine Arts, Lombard Street, Fort Point, Chinatown and Downtown San Francisco. The highlight? Seeing we went back to the Golden Gate Bridge three times, I would say that was a highlight of San Francisco, but I also think the city as a whole was a highlight for me. I loved the atmosphere, the colours and the vibes. It was alive in the afternoon and alive at night, and I think it is the best city I have been to in America.