Well hello there! Long time no see friends! I know, I know, it's completely my fault (as per usual). I've had all these lofty goals for myself, including blogging more regularly, since the beginning of the year and guess what? Here we are in April, almost May 2021, and few if any goals have been achieved. More on that later...UGH.
Now that I'm back to my "temporary housing" in Sacramento (aka my mom's house LOL), after an incredible 5 weeks in Austin, Texas, I figured it's time to deep dive into all the Austin content your little hearts could desire. Starting with why I was even there in the first place!
While this post won't have any specific Austin recommendations - don't you fret, there will be plenty of that to come! For now, let's focus on the why.
Being an avid traveler, hungry for adventure and new experiences, the limitations on travel have been extremely stifling over the course of the last year. I get so anxious sometimes feeling like time is flying by with each passing day and yet here I am with a travel bucket list longer than Santa's Naughty or Nice list! There truly are so many places and yet so little time - at least that's what it feels like to this dramatic Millenial.
While of course necessary, travel restrictions, like many other things over the course of the last year, have been quite de-motivating. I intentionally save up my PTO days at work to ensure I can take at least one long vacation each year which not only ensures an incredible travel experience in general but is a way for me to refresh and come back to work feeling more creative, more inspired and more passionate than ever before.
That piece of me was missing this last year...
After over six months at my mom's, I was feeling the urge for a change of scenery and a little mini escape. As I've mentioned before, no matter where you are or where you live, it can become quite challenging spending literally ALL of your time in one place or in my case, one room really. Where I workout is where I work, where I eat breakfast, relax, eat lunch and dinner, catch up with my mom, all in one location. While I love that location, any normal person would desire a change after a while.
Soooo, we got to planning!
We wanted to explore extended stays in cities where we could potentially see ourselves living someday. After a few weekend visits to Austin over the years, we both agreed it was one of those cities for us. Thankfully we began our research a couple months out from our ideal dates because things booked up QUICKLY! (I'm convinced everyone has the same idea as us). AirBnb had few options that met our requirements (washer and dryer, minimum 4 week stay, parking, pets okay, workspace preferred) so I took to Instagram to request some additional options from fellow travelers. Sonder was the recommendation I received so we expanded our search.
Sonder is the "future of hospitality," offering "hotel amenities without hotel formality." They have incredible options to fulfill your short term and long term stays in cities all around the world. The Sonder that we stayed at in Austin was actually in an apartment complex so it really did feel like we were residents! Plus it came equipped with all the essentials to meet our long term stay needs from kitchen products to towels and everything in between. From a price perspective, at the time we booked (decently far in advance I'll admit), Sonder's price points were a lot more reasonable compared to AirBnb. Considering what you get at a Sonder stay versus AirBnb - it's certainly worth it. Lastly, everything was managed through the Sonder app which made it really easy to keep track of all the important details when it came to our stay.
While we miss Texas tremendously and are ready to move there like yesterday, it feels good to be settled back in at our temporary living situation in Sacramento, too. We were constantly on the go in Austin, wanting to soak up every last minute of our time there and jam-packed our schedule with restaurants, coffee shops, outdoor activities, shopping and the like outside of traditional work hours. As you can imagine, that didn't leave a whole lot of time for reading, writing, or creating which I was in a really good rhythm of before we left.
Nevertheless, I would not have wanted it any other way. We had the absolute best time in Austin, checking out some of our favorite haunts and visiting plenty of new ones as well. I fell in love with the city even more and ultimately we accomplished the goals we set out to achieve. The first being a change of scenery. Got that and then some! And the second being, immersing ourselves in the city to see if we could envision ourselves living there. If you're wondering...The answer is yes...