A few weeks ago I decided to take a leap and spend a month in a new city that I have grown to love – San Diego. Right at that moment the research began.

Should I sublet someone’s apartment for a month? Do I get an Airbnb? What neighborhoods should I stay in where I won’t need a car? Am I sane for doing this?

I’m still on the fence with that last question 🙂 but, for the others I was able to spend a week doing my investigating and ultimately found the perfect little bungalow to call home in April! So, how did I do it?

While sipping on some hot cocoa (if you know me, you know that’s my favorite beverage in the world), I pulled out my laptop and started browsing:

  • Safest neighborhoods in San Diego
  • Walkable neighborhoods in San Diego
  • New Yorker in San Diego

The amount of search results I pulled up was insane. Seems I’m not the only one looking this up! One site I came upon that stuck out to me was Doorsteps.com. It not only had walkable and safe locations but, information about each. Summary of the area, places to eat/drink, cultural attractions, types of housing, etc.

I narrowed my search down to two areas: Hillcrest and East Village. Mostly cause they look eclectic, full of culture and people my age. However, a part of me chose those because they remind me the most of my home and favorite city, NYC.

I wasn’t going to just let a website decide where I stay so, next was going to local friends to get their opinions. Well, not to my surprise both areas received great reviews. However, my friends daughter lived in Hillcrest and loved it. Hearing a real life experience in that neighborhood is what ultimately helped make my decision. Hillcrest it is.

Hillcrest is known for its restaurants, bars, shops and vibrant LGBTQ community. Already, I feel like I’m at home! It is right near Balboa park which is filled with the famous San Diego Zoo, Gardens, walking trails and much more. Also, a great gym is right up the road from where I’m staying. It’s perfect!

Alright so, the neighborhood has been selected but, now where the heck do I live. My criteria to make it less of a vacation and more like I am living in San Diego was:

  • Must have a solid internet connection. I work remotely so, it’s a blessing I can even do this. I HAVE to make sure nothing slows me down from doing my job.
  • A functional kitchen. I don’t want to eat out for every meal.
  • My own space. I didn’t want to rent a room in someone’s house. Rather a studio, guest house or whole apartment.
  • Living space for nights I want to lounge out.
  • Well lit street. As much as you can do research, you don’t know the area until you’re there.
  • Unique Southern California vibes. I wanted a bungalow.

I was in luck when I started putting my filters into Airbnb because there was quite a few solid choices.

  • A 2 room vacation home – full kitchen – internet and parking. However, the home was attached to a house with 3 kids. Nope, not doing that.
  • A full apartment right on 5th ave. All I could need in a long term home for $2800. HELL NO! I don’t even pay that much in NYC.
  • A studio bungalow, on a hill, with a kitchen, internet and zen garden for $2000! YES!!!!

Now $2000 sounds like a lot, even for me. However, this is $500 less that my monthly NYC expenses when you factor in WiFi, cable, utilities and parking being included. I won’t have a car but, I at least know I have that option. Check this baby out!

I am beyond excited to get to San Diego and start my new journey. I have no clue how it’s going to go but, that is the fun part. No one ever knows how life is going to go or when it is going to end. So, live it. Enjoy it. Explore it.

Until next time, when I go through how to pack for a month long trip in one suitcase, happy planning!

Xoxo,

Sara

Posted by:Solo Travel Woman

Resources for the empowered & independent solo travel woman.

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