Day 404

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve officially landed at the last and final stop of #TGAARed Tettemer West. Located in sunny Santa Monica, it’s a much smaller shop than the RTO+P flagship in Philly. Yet, I can’t help but notice that it does maintain the same wit and charm I grew accustomed to back in March. The group here is only a handful deep, but they're all pretty awesome and it's nice to see that I already know a few of them from my previous stop with the agency. It turns out some of the Philly folks decided to pack their bags and make the move west in order to help RTO+P conquer another coastline.

While I’m already having a grand time with the crew here, I have to admit this week is turning out to be a string of rather unfortunate circumstances. For those of you who don’t know, this month I’m staying with some friends in Sherman Oaks, which is about 20 miles northeast of the RTO+P office. I had originally planned on doing an AirBnB again, but all the locations within walking distance were hovering around $2,500. After an endless number of calculations, I actually discovered that the cheapest option would be to use a ride share to and from the office each day.

Then again... that is going to run me about $1,200, which still isn't very ideal. So, at the last minute, I thought I’d try my hand at biking in on my first day. I mean, 18 miles isn’t that far, right? Turns out it is. Especially when Google takes you down a bunch of roads that lack bike lanes. The whole journey ended up taking me about 2.5 hours. See, just when you think the project has encountered its last hiccup, I go and create my own. The next day, I tried Lyft and even that took 1.5 hours. I then spent the evening looking into car rentals, Zipcar, Car2Go, scooter rentals and public transportation, but they're all too expensive, too time consuming or non-existent in the LA market. 

It looks like I’ll have to settle with Uber after all—and I’m none too happy about it. To save a bit of money, I'll be working from home two days a week though. It's all extremely annoying, but I guess it says a lot about living and commuting here. If you don't live in the neighborhood you work, get ready for endless traffic and nightmare commutes. In the end, I can’t complain too much though. The weather has been absolutely beautiful since I arrived, the people at RTO+P West are pretty awesome and my friends have been showing me all around LA. Honesty, I can’t think of a better way to close out this journey than with good weather, good vibes and good people.


Day 387

Last winter, when I was traveling down the east coast through Boston, NYC and Philadelphia, I remember telling myself, “I can’t wait until next winter, because I won’t have to put up with any snow”. Well, the months have come and gone, and now I'm in the midst of my very first snowless holiday season. At first it was a welcomed change, since I’m sure there will be plenty of snow waiting for me in Cleveland at the end of January. 

However, now that we’re in the week of Christmas, I can’t help but feel a little let down. For as much as I complain about winter weather, I never quite realized how much I cherish the sight of it this time of year. Granted, I don’t necessarily want to drive through it or anything, but I do find myself longing for a light dusting every morning. It’s almost as if my brain keeps forgetting it’s winter, since all I’ve seen in the past 4 weeks is rain, rain and more rain. Point being, I don’t think I could ever live somewhere it doesn’t snow. I guess that narrows down some of my choices for when this project is over too.

Why do I bring this up? Well, I received a rather interesting question through the site over the weekend and I wanted to give it a proper intro. In fact, before I get to the question, I want to send a gigantic ‘thank you’ to everyone out there who's sent me an inquiry over the past 13 months. Thus far, I’ve fielded more than 600 of them and that’s pretty awesome! But without further ado, here’s today’s question from Andrew B. of Oklahoma City:

Hey Steve, I’ll be graduating at the end of next semester and I’m curious if weather ever factors into how much you enjoy a city. I ask, because I’m considering a move to Montreal once I finish school.”

Montreal! Wow, I’d love to go there sometime myself. As I mentioned above, weather plays a more important role than I probably ever realized. It's just one of those things you don't often think about, except in extreme cases. I think it all has to do with personal preference. The best thing you can do is sit down and be honest with yourself about what kind of conditions you want to deal with. After all, some people say they love rain—but do they really?

The other thing you’ll want to do is check out the forecasts from last year. I always had some preconceived notion about what the weather would be like in a certain city, but more often than not, I was surprised by what I actually encountered. For instance, I hadn't considered it would rain more in San Francisco than it did during my stays in Portland and Seattle combined. Plus, I discovered Portland rarely ever gets snow, which I wouldn’t have guessed in a million years. It just seems like a place where it snows, doesn’t it? On top of that there's humidity in St. Louis, heat in Austin and earthquakes in Cali—all good things to consider. 

When it comes down to it, if you’re going to move somewhere, just be sure to put a lot of thought into it first. Some places seem like a good idea, but once you actually get into the meat and potatoes of it all, you might find it’s not the paradise you initially thought it was. That's also why I recommend visiting a place before moving there; word-of-mouth isn't always accurate. 

So, there you have it. A little weather talk from #TGAA. I hope wherever you are in the world right now, you have an incredible week and a great holiday season.

Oh, and thank you Stephen