Adventuring with Alia

Chronicles of a distance runner

Baby, I’m back!



I got back from my European excursion, and stopped blogging. But, within the past several days, I’ve been feeling it call me back.

I started this blog as a way to share my adventures and misadventures with my friends, family, and whoever else cared to read. However, since I’ve been back, I’ve realized that though travelling overseas was an unreal adventure, it actually served as a catalyst to what I’m tapping into right now.

More than ever in my life, I’ve been exploring, in all senses of the word. And more than ever in my life, I’ve been relishing the unknown. Don’t get me wrong, I have my “whatthefuckamidoingwithmylife” moments, but generally, I’m embracing making decisions for myself. And lately, a good amount of those decisions have been made on wonderfully spontaneous whims.

Day Tripper

Since my arrival back stateside, I have yet to remain in one location for longer than two weeks. Sometimes it feels strangely glamorous, sometimes it feels downright dirty, but it’s always laced with a certain excitement and exuberance.

Here’s a rough outline of my location changes since the end of July:

  • Santa Rosa
  • Chico
  • Delaware
  • New York (Catskills, not city)
  • Santa Rosa
  • Chico
  • Michigan
  • Yosemite
  • Chico
  • Redding
  • San Francisco
  • …and finally back to Santa Rosa, aka “home”

Anyone remotely close to me gets HUGE credit for putting up with my whims of late. Though it’s been exciting/awesome/splendiferous, it’s also been exhausting. This is my mini shout-out to those still putting up with me. Grazie mille.

A large part of my most recent wanderings has been an effort to figure out what I want my next step to be. That next step largely relies on landing a job. It also relies largely on finding a place that I want to situate myself for this next period of growth. Location is an enormous part of my overall happiness, so I take a potential move pretty seriously.

Though being back at my parents house has it’s perks, I’ve realized that I got used to a certain independence during my last five years in Chico.

Plus, the ‘rents don’t seem to appreciate my definition of productivity in lieu of a job. Epic rubber band ball construction and self-taught songs on the ukulele seem like legit accomplishments to me, but evidently, I should be in my own apartment to fully appreciate these moments.

San Francisco

My decision to embark on my most recent excursion to San Francisco was made all of about 18 hours in advance. No more than 20 minutes into my departure from my at-the-time latest excursion in Redding, I dialed my friend Rachel and asked if she had time for a quick visit. Luckily she’s awesome and eagerly accommodated me.

After a quick overnight stop back in Chico to see my friend Katrina’s band play in a 90’s show, I woke myself up early to get a good long run in before jumping in my trusty blue, sun-spotted, Corolla that has endured my abuse from age 16.

(Complete sidenote: for anyone in Chico tomorrow night, the band that Katrina is in, The Rugs, are playing at Café Coda. I am more than a little devastated that I cannot be there. But if you have the chance to check them out, GO. They will rock your face off. Promise.)

With a fresh tank of gas (my current concept of currency), and some good tunes, I made the three-hour drive, and arrived in time to soak up a Sunday afternoon in the city.

For anyone who read this blog previously, Rachel is my childhood friend who just graduated from a St. Andrews in Scotland. She’s now back in the states as a San Fran gal, employed by the gaming company Ubisoft as the Associate Digital Marketing Manager for the “Just Dance” game.

She’s two years my younger, and already more of an adult than I am. Dammit.

We grabbed some baked goodness at Tartine, and lounged on the green grass of Dolores park amidst a colorful variety of other San Franciscans soaking up the last bits of weekend afternoon sun. Impromptu space-age fashion/dance show combos are totally normal on a Sunday, right?

Rach showed me around some of the neighborhoods, describing the different vibes each one exudes. Apparently, she thinks I would fit right in in Mission. I’m mentally drooling already.

We capped the short day off with dinner at the German restaurant, Suppenküche. A refreshing hofbräu beer, a couple potato pancake things, and a cheese spätzle (essentially the best macaroni and cheese of my entire life), later we walked out overly satiated.

Luckily, getting anywhere in the city requires a decent amount of transportation by foot. We made a detour to a small playground, before walking back to her flat in the Castro to crash.

The Next Departure

The next morning, Rach left for work, and I fed my parking meter with as many coins in my car as I could round up before hoofing it to a café.

I took just over an hour to enjoy a well-rounded breakfast of a double espresso and a croissant (tribute to my mornings in Europe), and the various leftover SF Chronicle pages from an earlier customer. My laptop accompanied me as well, for some morningtime musings.

I could have stayed in that café for hours, but my meter was a good 10 blocks and an incredibly steep hill away. I made it back, just two minutes before my meter was about to expire! Pro.

I left San Francisco with a bit of a new direction in my quest for a new home. Being in the city made me excited about living in a new area, exploring a new situation in life, soaking up different people and cultures.

I’m excited to take another step in my life. I’m excited to be excited about finding a job. A real one. One that I get to complain about the pay-to-rent-ratio. More than anything, I’m excited to be at a point to be excited about life.

…I need to find a new word for “excited.”



Author: Alia Teixido Gray

I like reading, writing, running, and drinking coffee. Lots of it.

8 thoughts on “Baby, I’m back!

  1. Alia,

    Alumni of Chico State here that also ran for Gary or G$. Call him what you want. I’m not sure if you remember me from NCAA’s in Kentucky, but I was there. Anyway, you write wonderfully. Seriously, this is and was a pleasure to read. I know that at your age, you want success right away and are worried about your next step. Everyone at your age deals with that…at least the people that actually care about life instead of wandering aimlessly. The contemplative people. At any rate, good luck with your search and realize that is is (1) ok if it takes you a while to figure things out. Everyone goes through this at your age and you will probably go through it again when you are 30-35. At least that is what everyone tells me. Lastly or (2) if you ever make it out to the DC area, let me know. I am more than willing to help out a former Wildcat XC alum with a place to stay for a while and check things out. Good luck with your search. Keep the optimism high and the running strong. You will go far…I can guarantee it.

    Vernon Ruiz

  2. Hey Vern, of course I know who you are! And G$ is still the correct term for Gary, with the occasional exception of “G-peso.” Thanks for reading! I really appreciate the feedback and support. It’s definitely an interesting time of life, but I couldn’t be happier to have the luxury to do a little exploring before trying something out. And I just might have to take you up on the offer in DC sometime. I haven’t really given the East Coast much lovin’ yet!

  3. Alia! You are such an expressive writer, and it’s only a matter of time until you are discovered and forced to type your life away as a web/blog/net slave. Keep PERMANENT samples of your work, as digital everything tends to evaporate. But I don’t know why you even care about financial success: you already have the world’s coolest name and hair…what more does a girl need?


    • Well thank you! And not to worry! All these posts are first typed up on a trusty Word document. Which, now that I think about it, I should probably back up on an external hard drive or something as well.

      Web/blog/net slave sounds amazing; where can I sign up?!? I guess this is an all right start. But you’re right. If only my hair could do my job interviews for me. Bah. If there were ever a place to accept that, it’s got to be SF, right???

  4. Glad to see you started the blog back up. It’s nice to know what’s going on in your life as well as knowing that I’m not the only one faced with such decisions in life. I hope all turns out well for you where ever you end up.

  5. Love your blog and pics! You are welcome at our casa in Boston…we heart visitors. You will like, I promise.

    • I definitely have not explored the east coast as much as I need to…working on conquering the west coast currently, but I’ll make my way over there. 🙂 I’ve heard that Boston is pretty amazing. Hope life is good lovely!

  6. Thanks a lot for being the lecturer on this area. We enjoyed your own article quite definitely and most of all cherished how you handled the issues I widely known as controversial. You happen to be always quite kind towards readers much like me and help me in my lifestyle. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s