I Moved from California to Toronto – 1

The reason for me having been missing online for these last few months is an important life-change. I have moved from San Francisco Bay (California) to Toronto (Canada).

My Immigrant Life

I had worked for the last 8 years in Silicon Valley. In this time, I was on a work visa, extending it year-by-year. While the material quality of life was good, there was always the need to watch over my shoulder, as any chance of my work-visa not getting extended could lead to deportation.

I needed to explore other options, and after a year of extensive research and application process, I applied for, and got accepted into the Permanent Residency program in Canada.

Why Now and not Later?

Many people working in the US keep Canada as a backup option alone, but this was not the case for me. Living in the Bay Area for many years became a bit of a drag.

The sunny skies of California eventually became too monotonous for me, and I began to miss the seasons. What initially seemed like a diverse area – people speaking different languages, eating different food, wearing different clothes – began to feel like a cover for a deeper level of homogeneity – upper-middle-class suburban overworked families steeped in tech culture (or at least that was the slice of society I was living in).

While I am a tech person myself, and enjoyed being with my community, after a while, the conversations became repetative – everyone and their grandmother spoke about their new startup and crypto, argued about 101 versus 280 for traffic, or Stanford vs Berkeley for their kids, and Yosemite vs Lake Tahoe for the 2-week annual vacation.


I wanted to live in not only an ethnically diverse area, but also an area that has people with diverse professions, goals, interests and lifestyles. Thus, I needed to get out of silicon valley and head for Toronto.

Saying Goodbye to California !

Just as saying a proper goodbye to friends is necessary, so is saying a goodbye to a place. I did not want my memories of California to be just silicon valley. I decided to give myself a different memory before leaving – that of a different side of California.

I went on a solo road-trip from silicon valley into the deep deserts of Central California, with the goal of visiting several California Missions that are tucked away from San Francisco or Los Angeles and reside in the vast stretch of land in between.

While I am writing a future article about the details, here, I will only say that the journey was spiritual. I stayed in small town motels and drove along abandoned rail tracks, cabbage farms, wind-turbines and tumbleweeds. And I visited many of the missions, learning the history of Native Americans – the first people of this land, and Mission churches who laid the foundations of California, and the complex history between the two.

Burrito at Dos Hermanos, San Miguel

Emotional Support Burrito

Friends in California were my first line of emotional support, the second being the California Burrito. And I had one in a small town (San Miguel), next to the freeway. Its tortilla was crisp and golden, and it was stuffed with well-seasoned greasy meats, rice and beans – a simple but prefect dish – a signature of California.

When the road-trip was done, I packed, sold my car, gave away my furniture, and caught the flight to Toronto (upcoming article) with two suitcases filled with souvenirs and memories. California wasn’t my forever home, but it was a necessary milestone in my life’s path, and we parted on good terms.

Bye Bye California !!!

Flying out from the Bay on Air Canada (San Francisco on left)


  1. Toronto is a great city where I spent many years, diversity for sure, to the point of getting lost. More globally, I would say that it’s the North American experience without the hassle of the US. All the best.

    1. Agree. I am loving the public transport here, especially the TTC streetcars with full-glass walls – almost feels like tour-buses. Aside from the well-known spots, give me some recs for hidden gems here & good neighborhoods for food and street markets !!

  2. Congrats for your new life in Tortonto! Taking a solo road trip to say goodby to your adoptive land and know it more in-depth seems like a perfect way to part with California (and its burritos). I hope your new life in Toronto is rich, fulfilling and that you’ll love its seasons!

  3. Congratulations on your move! Very exciting and I’m sure overwhelming at the same time. I have a cousin in Toronto (born and raised there) and I’ve even toyed with the idea of relocating there! P.S. Love to hear that there is good public transport! It’s nice to not have to drive everywhere all the time.

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