Should You Move To San Francisco?

January 2016 ยท 3 minute read

TLDR: Yes.

My move to SF is 100% a silicon valley stereotype. I wrote an app(eb), was contacted by some startups and large valley companies and a couple weeks later I was on a plane with a 6 month old and my wife.

Coming from Toronto there was almost no cultural transition, except for the dissonance between rich/poor and how strictly each cultural group / archetype stays in their own portion of the city.

The first month we stayed in an AirBnb in Oakland which was actually just a really nice backyard shed. The food was great (,, weather 100% consistent and people friendly but the bus commute was cutting into nights with my family so we moved to the Sunset.

Now I could cycling to work (best part of my day) and to surf at ocean beach but it came with $3600/month rent (it went for $4000 a year later when we left).

Retrospectively I would have opted to save some money and live in the east bay. If I was single I would opt for somewhere wretched / small / cheap in the city and aim to get out more.

It was easy to burn through my moving bonus + salary(double what I made in Toronto) in the first few months but after that the savings do come(albeit slowly and only with diligence).

The working conditions were far better then any I had experienced prior. I played guitar in the office music room, learned how to play ping pong, found / rebuilt drones all over the place and generally just had a lot of fun. The work was interesting and it was amazing being around brilliant co-workers. You’ll also never have to worry about saying something too technical, geeky or nuanced since it will always be received warmly.


The counter to this is: everything is expensive, you’ll spend more time at work, you’ll get sick of microbrew IPA’s, money will loose all meaning and generally things will feel “unreal”.

You’ll feel like you’ve entered a world that is oddly tailored to you which will only emphasise your feelings of being a muppet. At the same time you’ll see the daily negative effects that tech wealth has on the remaining residents which you are now a part of.


Retrospectively it was a positive experience. I’m still benefiting from the contacts I made and experience I accrued. The TN visa makes it easy for Canadians to make this move and its in our interest to take advantage of our free trade agreement the politicians worked to put in place.