Internship in San Francisco: Recap

My internship in San Francisco has come to and end. It’s time to recap my best memories, experiences and moments before I go home!

In 7 days, the internship I started in San Francisco is coming to an end. It has been an amazing year, packed with countless experiences, memories and moments that I will always hold dear in my heart. Let’s do a recap of my favorite bits.

When I first landed in San Francisco, I stayed for 10 days at a hotel while I went apartment hunting. While the experience was a bit stressful (as I visited a lot of options within working hours), it was a great first contact of the city: I got to see a lot of different corners.

Once I was settled in a place, I wanted to explore the city in depth. Shortly after I moved in, some friends happened to be in town visiting. They wanted to ride on a hop-on hop-off bus tour, so I decided to accompany them. And I’m glad I did! Not only I got to see a lot more of the city, but I also discovered a lovely little local business: the Boudin bakery. This historical place makes delicious sourdough bread (among many other baked goods), one of the foods San Francisco is renown for inventing.

San Francisco has a lot of to offer, but after a few weeks of exploring it every weekend, I decided to start venturing into its surroundings. The first city I visited was Sacramento, the capital of California. Not only it is packed with interesting bits of the state’s history (like the California State Capitol Museum), but it’s also home to a great food scene, including some very interesting imported cuisines.

Sacramento was only a 2-3 hour bus away from San Francisco, so for my next weekend trip I decided to go a bit farther. My next destination was Santa Ana, an adorable little city south of California. This tiny city hosts an incredible amount of high-quality restaurants, and it’s just minutes away from the beach, as well as countless touristic attractions. When I visited, a local gastronomic event (Savor Santa Ana) was taking place, so I got to try many small bites from tens of restaurants on the area. It was fantastic!

Short after my trip to Santa Ana, my supervisor at my host company recommended visiting the Exploratorium of San Francisco, a museum . At that point, my supervisor and I had already built a great relationship, and just like anyone who gets close to me, was fully aware that I’m a bit of a science geek. Following his recommendation, I spent half a day at the museum, playing with the hundreds of live science contraptions that I had heard so much about (these are so well built that hundreds of museums around the world host replicas of them).

While the Exploratorium was great, the museum that really impressed me was the California Academy of Sciences Museum. This museum features a spectacular rainforest that spans multiple floors and features hundreds of species of animals and vegetation with an incredible level of freedom. This is, without a doubt, the best museum I’ve seen in my life (at least in the terraqueous category, but we’ll get to that in a second). I would recommend it to any curious mind out there!

Around that same time, one of the US’ most important holidays took place: Thanksgiving. I was lucky to be invited to some friends’ house to celebrate this classic holiday, and I was absolutely amazed by the variety of foods and delicatessen that are characteristic to this date. Who knew one could cook cranberries in so many dishes and formats!

Shortly after came Christmas and New Year’s. I am particularly fond of the memories I acquired at the later, as I decided to take yet another little trip to a Californian city. This time it was Monterey, a coastal city also located 2 hours away from San Francisco. Monterey itself was packed with amazing touristic points, but its surroundings were also very worth visiting. Because of this, I decided to spend a whole 5 days in the area. On one of my first days there, I visited the Monterey Aquarium, the best ever aquarium I have set foot in period. While the Cal Academy is my best terraqueous museum to date (despite also featuring a small aquarium), the Monterey Aquarium is without a doubt my favorite aqueous museum. In retrospective, Monterey was the best of all trips I took, so I would definitely recommend prioritizing it if you have a limited timespan!

Not long after that trip, the COVID pandemic started, slowing everything activity around the world – including my ability to continue exploring the US. Right before the shelter-in-place order was imposed in San Francisco, I had just taken a short trip to Big Sur (I came back literally the day before the order took effect). Two weeks before that I had taken a quick trip to Spain to visit my family. I am grateful timing was on my side in both those instances.

Since then, my exploration has halted. These last 3 months I have been focused mostly on getting the most out of the last phase of my internship: while things have shifted drastically, there are still plenty opportunities to learn things from this new set of circumstances. For instance, I have continued my internship remotely (while still in the US), which has introduced an interesting new set of challenges, and I have had time to refocus on achieving a few industry certifications.

Overall, this internship has been one of the best experiences of my life: I have met amazing people, I have been exposed to a lot of new cultural facets, I have learned a ton from top people in my field and visited some amazing places. San Francisco has left a mark on me and, after this, I will never be the same ūüôā

Alexandru Boboc


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