How to Lead a Satisfied Life: Explore

How to Lead a Satisfied Life: Explore

Elizabeth Chenok, Staff Writer

It’s the unfortunate truth, but we’re stuck in the stereotype of a small suburban town. As high-schoolers, we overhear the word “B-Orinda” in conversations with teens about making plans for the weekend; overlooking the adventure we can have in our own location.

The Bay is an incredible place to live for so many reasons. As Orindians, we get the safety of the small suburb (and also voted 2nd friendliest town in America according to Forbes list), but also are surrounded by amazing culture and cities.

If we take the time to explore outside the “Orinda bubble,” we would find that there are tons of different activities to do. San Francisco, one of the most iconic cities in the US, as well as the world, is at our fingertips. For just ten dollars and 20 minutes of your time, the BART station located in the center of town is a god-send that can easily get us to different parts of the spectacular city.

San Francisco alone boasts Union Square (and an amazing shopping center may I add), North Beach (can you say Italian food?), The Haight (hippilicious and cool street venders), The Mission (amazing Spanish culture), Dolores Park (beautiful on a summer day, and usually interesting people there who will strike up a conversation), the Ferry Building (head up to Marin, have yummy food, and ice skate in the winter), and many more incredible places to explore.

We also have Berkeley, which is a mere 15-minute drive away. Not only do we have the privilege of having a renowned college right next door to visit and take classes at, but we can get our dose of hippie walking down the streets of Telegraph Avenue, go hiking in the beautiful Tilden Park, and see the view at Grizzly Peak.

Another privilege of living in the Bay is the diversity unique to each part of town. Talking to someone in the city can be completely different than someone from Berkeley, Oakland, or Orinda.

I understand that some might be tired of going thrift shopping on Telegraph or adventuring  through Union Square, but there are so many options to choose from. To spice things up, I ventured to North Beach, somewhere that I wasn’t as familiar with. Although I knew where I was going, I had no plan to what I was going to do. Spontaneity is one of the fastest ways to create an adventure.

Once you have a location, go into different shops, try new food, and talk to people. By going outside the normal, I ended up having a fabulous French sandwich and meeting a really cool tattoo artist who was also working in a little boutique. She gave my friends and I advice on life and helped us pick out some lovely jewelry.

Begin your adventure! Look up cool places that you’ve never been before and grab a friend who’s just as adventurous as you are. Do something that you wouldn’t think is usually fun: hit up an art museum, see a musical, go to a park. Grab a cup of tea (of course) and roam the streets.

It’s all about what you want to do. But what I find the most satisfying is not having expectations or a strict guideline to what I’m going to do that day. It’s very exciting to go somewhere without an idea of exactly what you’ll eat, who you’ll meet, or what you’ll share. There are some pretty incredible events and people on the West Coast so take advantage.

Getting stuck in the Orinda rut can get old, especially for most students who have lived here their whole lives. Be glad that you are familiar with your streets, but also be willing to open up and meet new people.

Time is short, and these four years will sweep most by in an instant. We will travel all over to study, and might not return to The Bay for a long time. Appreciate the youth culture and opportunities we have right where we are instead of focusing on leaving. Appreciate and live your life to it’s fullest potential. Be safe, and have fun exploring.