Goodbye Vancouver, hello San Francisco

Posted on April 9, 2013

Landing at SFO - for good

There’s a somewhat odd coincidence that my last update (some nine months ago! Apologies!) involved a trip to SF. Because I now call the Bay Area home. A lot happened in 2012, including leaving Speedhunters, moving to another country and embarking on a new chapter in my life.

Moving into my Vancouver apartment in 2011

This photo was from a couple years ago when I first moved into my Vancouver apartment. I had spent the first three months in temp housing as I waited for my furniture to arrive from Australia.

The whole packing-relocating-unpacking process was exciting the first time around, but having to do it again so soon was painful. The allure of being on an adventure had worn off; leaving behind the stress of applying for visas, breaking leases, selling cars and starting all over again.

Whistler Blackcomb

Vancouver is undoubtedly one of the world’s best cities. The quality of life, the people, the food, the outdoor activities… the list goes on. Having fallen in love with Vancouver and Whistler I was - and still am - sad to have left. But for a few reasons it was time for a change.

View of Emirates Stadium from the Diamond Club

While I’ve loved every single minute of my career, deep down I’ve long felt an urge to explore the world beyond cars. I’ll always be ‘a car guy’ - I’ve been obsessed with everything four-wheeled since before I could walk - but my other lifelong passion has been sports. So when the opportunity arose to join EA SPORTS I didn’t hesitate, and I haven’t looked back since. The catch was that I had to relocate to the Bay Area where Electronic Arts’ HQ is based.

View of downtown Vancouver from the Westin hotel

Before I knew it, the months of planning had whittled down to my last few weeks in Vancouver. It was a terrible feeling knowing you were about to leave a city that you’re enamoured with. Like a mad man I crammed in visits to all of my favourite haunts - the sushi joints, the holes in the wall, that kitschy all-pink restaurant with epic banh mi. I gained a few kilos from all the eating but it was effing worth it.

No effin' clue where this is... I just follow the GPS!

After two amazing years, my time with Vancouver had come to an end and I found myself acclimitising to a new city. The sushi may suck here, but the seemingly never-ending mild, sunny days are a welcome change from the endless greys that Vancouver is known for.

Settling into my new home

There was no avoiding temp housing, but within a month I found an apartment in Burlingame to call home. Initially I was planning on living in downtown San Francisco, but the travel time to Redwood City (where EA is located) and the fact I saw someone pooping on the pavement was enough to make me defer to the Peninsula.

It’s been a couple months since moving into Burlingame and things are starting to fall into place. It’s a nice neighbourhood, plenty of In-N-Outs and scenic running trails just a short drive away. And although I’m starting to like life in the Bay Area, it still has some big, Vancouver-sized shoes to fill.

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7 Comments so far
  1. Dave April 9, 2013 3:03 pm

    Congrats on the move! What are you doing for EA now?

  2. huyzee April 10, 2013 12:31 am

    wow been checking this website once every two weeks or so. hope theres more posts to come.

    hopefully you can make a change to EA.

  3. John Shaw April 10, 2013 10:16 pm

    Good to see you back. Always love your photos.

  4. Mark April 19, 2013 12:40 am

    Glad to see you posting again Charles! Sad to see you not heading up Speedhunters anymore, but glad to see you moving upward and onward! Not enough porchetta roll pics though whilst you were in vancouver hehe

  5. Deb May 5, 2013 11:09 am

    Nice to see you posting here again! Have missed your photos in the past year!

  6. Linhbergh May 7, 2013 8:34 pm

    In-N-Outs are the best part about California. Let’s catch up soon next time I’m in the Bay!

  7. Mark May 18, 2013 2:15 pm

    All the best with the new move Charles!

    Keep the updates coming, very few and far between!

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