In one week, my girlfriend and I will be leaving California. We’ve
about everything we own.
Our remaining earthly possessions fit into the back of my Corolla, which we’ll
be taking on a cross-country road trip.
A few weeks after that, we move to Italy. Molly will be starting her postdoc
at the European University Institute in Florence
and I will be starting… Well, that’s a story for a different time.
It’s a little bittersweet. On the one hand, “moving to Italy” is one of those
crazy things people say, but never actually do. Except we’re going to do it.
When else in our lives are we going to get a chance to
live in a villa in Tuscany,
train like a gladiator in Rome,
learn to make pizza in Sorrento,
go hiking in the Dolomites,
or go biking in Crete Senesi?
Belvedere Tuscany Italy, by Mark Wassell
On the other hand, the last 6 years in California have been life-changing.
Before I moved here, I had no inkling of what this place was really like. I had
heard of Silicon Valley, sure, but I assumed it was just a bunch of hype. I was
wrong. If you’re into programming, or startups, or technology, there is no
better place to be in the world. Here, you’re not a weirdo or a nerd. Well, you
are, but so is everyone else. Something magical happens when a single place has
such a critical density of brilliant people, know-how, and money. There is
constant excitement about new products, new companies, and new technologies.
Or, as Box CEO Aaron Levie put it:
There are meetup groups, classes, lectures, conferences, clubs, and outings for
every interest. And speaking of outings, the weather is incredible, and you are
surrounded by gorgeous works of nature anywhere you go.
and national parks
are all just a few hours away.
California, and the people here, you have been very good to us. Thank you for
these incredible last 6 years. We’re going to miss you.
I leave you with some photos that capture a few of the highlights from our
Our first visit to Stanford. We had trouble believing it was real. (March, 2009).
The move to California. Playing Tetris with my luggage. (August, 2009).
Our first apartment in Barnes Court, Escondido Village, Stanford. (October, 2009).
The Lone Cypress, 17 mile drive. (November, 2009).
Sea lions after a busy day in Santa Cruz. (November, 2009).
Fort Funston with Jeff and Maggie. (November, 2009).
Japanese Tea Garden in the Golden Gate Park (January, 2010).
Stanford Dish Trail (February, 2010).
Crossfit Games NorCal Qualifier (March, 2010).
Point Lobos (April, 2010).
Monterey Bay Aquarium (April, 2010).
Enjoying the silky sand at Ocean Beach (April, 2010).
Our first visit to Sonoma. We had trouble believing it was real. (April, 2010).
Golden Gate Bridge (September, 2010).
Muir Woods (September, 2010).
Healdsburg (September, 2010).
Accomplished a life goal of deadlifting 495lbs (December, 2010).
Ano Nuevo (January, 2011).
Winners of LinkedIn's first Innovator Challenge (February, 2011).
Lake Tahoe. We had trouble believing it was real (February, 2011).
Our orange tree's first orange (March, 2011).
The LinkedIn IT team's Tron party (April, 2011).
The LinkedIn IPO (May, 2011).
Monthly hackdays at LinkedIn (June, 2011).
Town Hall with President Obama (September, 2011).
Thanksgiving in Sonoma (November, 2011).
Flower Conservatory in Golden Gate Park (February, 2012).
Kayaking with otters and sea lions in Monterey Bay (March, 2012).
The LinkedIn gym got bumper plates (March, 2012).
LinkedIn Cinco de Mayo party (May, 2012).
Barenaked Ladies and Blues Traveler Concert at the Mountain Winery (July, 2012).
McWay Waterfall at Big Sur (September, 2012).
Launching LinkedIn Incubator (December, 2012).
Announcing the Play Framework at LinkedIn (February, 2013)
Game of Thrones Season 3 Premier at The Palace of Fine Arts in SF (March, 2013).
Matthew models a few of the t-shirts we've collected over the years (April, 2013).
LinkedIn Wild West Chili Cookoff (October, 2013).
Uvas Canyon (December, 2013).
Point Reyes (March, 2014).
Filoli (April, 2014).
Twin Peaks (April, 2014).
Maker Faire (May, 2014).
Room Escape Game in San Francisco (May, 2014).
Foothills Park (August, 2014).
Route 1 (September, 2014).
Hearst Castle (September, 2014).
Sequoia National Park (September, 2014).
Morgan Hill (October, 2014).
Zap Epicuria food and wine tasting (January, 2015).
Hot Chocolate 15k in Golden Gate Park (January, 2015).
Launching my book,
Hello, Startup (February, 2015).
San Francisco Cheese School (March, 2015).
Hanna House (May, 2015).
Yosemite National Park. We had trouble believing it was real (May, 2015).
Molly's graduation (June, 2015).