20 Things I Did During My First Year In California

Are you planning a dreamy relocation to California? One of the first things I did in the fun planning stage was create an exciting bucket list of "things" to inspire me as I got settled.

This list included everything from local restaurants, donut bars, and watering holes that I had heard about on Yelp, fitness goals like a new hike I wanted to conquer or a 5K race, and all of the totally touristy spots that my new stomping grounds were famous for - museums, beaches, monuments, boardwalks, state parks, etc. After creating your bucket list, I invite you to start checking those things off, and when a year goes by, check back in on your list. They say that's how long it takes for a place to feel like home. I'll bet you did some pretty amazing, spontaneous, noteworthy things that weren't even on your list at all!

20 Things I Did During My 1st Year In California:

1) Signed up for my first 5K (San Diego's Del Mar Mud Run)
2) Inadvertently crashed a Yelp Elite party (and got free drinks, shots, and swag!)
3) Tried vinyasa yoga in a stranger's backyard
4) Became a dog owner/puppy mama (and foster failure)
5) Fell head over heels in love with the desert during an anniversary trip to Palm Springs
6) Saw an Audrey Hepburn movie in a Hollywood cemetery
7) Painted Van Gogh's Starry Night while sipping wine
8) Saw LMFAO live
9) Lived half a block from the beach in a furnished studio apartment
10) Cooked Thanksgiving dinner with my boyfriend and celebrated the holiday just the two of us
11) Biked 30 miles roundtrip from Hermosa Beach to Santa Monica. My legs felt like jelly after!
12) Showed up on New Year's Day at the same bar I went to the night before, for $1 pancakes
13) Bought a rusty beach cruiser from Craigslist for $90 and lived it up at The Strand
14) Saw Katy Perry way up close at The Grove (she was promoting her Purr perfume line)
15) Spent Easter Sunday at Dog Beach
16) Watched the Pats lose the Superbowl (sad)
17) Enjoyed a summery afternoon picnic in Balboa Park
18) Got a job in the fashion industry, working for a handbag designer
19) Celebrated Halloween weekend in San Francisco, dressed as a beer maiden
20) Met Mara of M Loves M and photographer Kimberly Genevieve - two exceptionally lovely and talented ladies


Overall, it was a super memorable year! In light of some hardship and money struggles along the way, I tried some new activities, challenged myself beyond my comfort zone, and tapped into a more adventurous side I didn't know I had. And just recently, I passed the five year mark!

BY ALISON KINSEY

Alison Kinsey is a serial mover and the founder of City Leaper. She craves adventure, movement, and new beginnings. Her most recent move was over 3,000 miles, from New Hampshire to California, where she lives with her husband and her two dogs.

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