I’d never necessarily dreamed of moving to San Francisco specifically. That fantasy was reserved for New York, just like every journalist’s pipe dream.
But fortunately, I landed a job in February 2018 and made the move from my hometown of Pflugerville, Texas, to the Bay Area and have lived here ever since while also reporting on the region.
There was a bit of culture shock when I was first adapting to the tech hub — companies like LinkedIn and Twitter ran their global headquarters in buildings near my office, and the people walking next to me on the street were some of the country’s highest-paid workers. Down in the South Bay was the heart of Silicon Valley, where for decades the industry’s greatest advancements have been pioneered. What was happening around me was clearly much bigger than me.
There was also a bit of an adjustment going from what feels like a small town to a major metro area. Pflugerville is a suburb about 20 miles north of Austin, Texas, which is a tech city in its own right. I also went to school at Texas A&M in College Station, which also has a small-town feel.
Two years in and my skin’s gotten fairly thick — but only after I learned a few things.
Here are 11 things that surprised me most moving from Texas suburbia to Silicon Valley.