I have tried to generically cover the concept of living locally to live a full life, but I think it is time to focus on where I live. Each local area has a lot to offer and unless you are retired or independently wealthy, embracing your local area will lead to a fuller life. I happen to live in San Diego, and feel very lucky to live here. The list of things to do far exceeds the time I have to do them. One of the reasons I write this blog is to focus myself on planning/living a full life. Over the next year I plan to “tighten my belt” to achieve some financial goals. In order to do that I’m going to focus more on living locally. So I will be blogging more about the San Diego area, ways to find things to do without breaking the bank, and even some posts about very specific events and activities.
I’m fairly new to San Diego. I grew up in Iowa, and spent 21 years in the Marine Corps, moving at least every 4 years. I’ve moved 6 times in the last 5 years, but the last 3 times have all been to different locations in San Diego. I don’t plan to leave San Diego any time soon. In fact I hope to buy a house within the next 3 years, and stop moving altogether, but that’s for a different post. I’ve worked in San Diego for 5 years, but only lived in San Diego for a little over 2 years and even though I’m very active, i would like to expand my knowledge of the local area so I’ll start by doing some research. Just like for any other research Google is a great resource. The top site in a search for San Diego is the city’s official site. There is not a lot of information on things to do here, although there is good information on the Parks and Recreation department. There is Balboa Park (awesome), and Mission Trails Park (very near my home and with great hiking and climbing opportunities), Mission Bay Park (I haven’t done much here), and a whole list of Open Space Parks to explore. I’ve hiked in many of these open space parks because of the recommendation of a coworker to check out a book called “Afoot and Afield in San Diego” by Jerry Schad. He also has books for Orange County, and Los Angeles. Unfortunately he passed away recently but the books are awesome resources.
Local newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations are also great resources for living locally. I also have a blog post on local email deals like Groupon and Living Social. These deals can not only make it cheaper to explore, they can help you find or try things you may not have thought of (at least that’s what the Living Social ads would like you to think). I did enjoy an introductory rock climbing class in Mission Trails Park thanks to a deal from Groupon.
Meetup.com is another great resource for just about any activity in San Diego. I have a blog post about Meetup.com that covers it in general, and I’m a member of several meetup groups. I would love to start attending more meetups. It doesn’t matter what you want to do you can most likely find a group of folks who love to do it too. I particularly like the hiking groups because they have experienced leaders who have been on the trails before. But I'm also a member of groups for camping, kayaking, and wine and cheese lovers. Some of these groups get into ruts, taking the same hike over and over, or going to the same Wine room, but over time, these groups evolve and you can learn a lot about San Diego. Since I haven’t done a lot of other types of meetups I won’t make any other recommendations, but for hiking I would definitely recommend the group Take a Hike. They have a large group of energetic hike leaders and a fun and social group of hikers.
San Diego is a large city, but it is really a combination of many neighborhoods. I have done things in many of them like Downtown, Little Italy, the Gas Lamp Quarter, Mission Hills, North Park, South Park (yeah like the cartoon), Hillcrest, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, La Jolla, and Old Town and I have lived in two of them Point Loma, and San Carlos, but I plan to explore these Neighborhoods and the nearby cities even more over the next couple years as I decide where to buy a house. Although I don’t expect to live far from the center of San Diego, I will also explore things to do in other parts of San Diego county. I will create posts as I explore and attend events in these San Diego neighborhoods, nearby cities, and other areas in the county.
The more I put into this post the more I’m looking forward to doing more to live locally in San Diego. San Diego is a great place to live, a vacation spot, and I’m looking forward to enjoying it even more than I have in the past.
Check out my other posts about living in San Diego.