Monday, February 27, 2012

California Dreamin'

For someone who hates packing and unpacking, I sure have done a lot of it in the last year or so. First came the Chicago apartment downsize that involved moving a haul of stuff to my parents' basement in Michigan and some of it to a budget-friendly month-to-month lease for the remainder of our time in the US. By January 2011, Claudine was off to Kathmandu, and weeks later I followed, only after yet another trip to Michigan, during which I ended up in a highway ditch.

And we are back to the States again, moving from Kathmandu to the US last month. If only it were that simple. Our relocation involved visiting family in Jersey, crashing with dear friends in DC (thank you, Todd and Lindsey!), driving to Michigan via a stopover in Virginia, flying to California for an apartment hunt, and driving from Michigan to San Francisco in a 16-foot moving truck. If you can't tell by now, we are not in the business of keeping things easy or boring around here.

Sound exhausting? It was. Please forgive our blog absenteeism, but between elbowing our way through the cut-throat SF rental market, driving coast-to-coast through 15 states (and one commonwealth), and swimming through moving boxes, we have been a bit preoccupied. The dust is finally settling and we are getting a chance to exhale and reflect on all that led us from Chicago skyscrapers to Himalayan hilltops and now to whatever awaits here in San Francisco (so far: hipsters and very expensive coffee). With all that we have experienced, "unpacking" the last year will take longer than emptying the moving boxes in our new apartment (no small task, mind you). For now, we are happy to be new residents of San Francisco and to have avoided certain death on a windy -- and I mean windy -- stretch of Wyoming highway. More on that later.

We are not yet sure of the new direction of this blog as we embark on our latest adventure. I do think we will continue to post and, like we have with everything this year, see where it leads. I hope to good places, but you will have to keep checking in to see.

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Claudine captured this moment as we officially arrived in our new home after three long days on the road. Sunny and 70 degrees in February? That is quite a welcome mat you lay out, California.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

San Francisco Bound!

Well, dear readers, since posting our absence memo on January 12, we have kept you in suspense long enough. What's going on with the Kathmanduo, you ask?

Drum roll, please: the 'duo is no longer in the 'du. That's right. We have left Nepal and are now back in the US preparing for our next adventure that is on the immediate horizon: a cross-country move to San Francisco, where I will be starting a full-time job at Kiva!

I am thrilled beyond words, and I feel very lucky to be taking this next step in my career with an organization that I am so passionate about. I'm also pretty darn excited about my actual job, which will be managing and growing the portfolio for Kiva's new strategic partnerships with businesses in targeted sectors outside microfinance, like One Acre Fund.

Of course, there is a long story behind our move, and we plan on sharing it over a few blog posts in the coming weeks. We don't want to leave you completely hanging, though, so -- in typical Kathmanduo fashion -- we will share with you some snapshots of our journey so far. You'll see that there's already been some criss-crossing of the US, and we're leaving tomorrow to do it again.

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January 18: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Just checking up on things.

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January 21: View of San Francisco from Billy Goat Hill. Switching gears from Nepali peaks to city hills.

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February 2: Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, Virginia. Lovely.

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February 3: Stretch of Ohio cornfields. Trying to entertain myself in the boring stretch between Columbus and Toledo.

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February 3: Gun store in Ohio. Welcome to America.

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February 5: Astro Coffee in Detroit. Prepping for the hipster coffee scene on the west coast.

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February 5: Dequindre Cut in Detroit. Making the urban planner's pilgrimage to Detroit's converted railroad line.

More to come soon! In the meantime, thanks for sticking with us.