Name, job, part of the Bay you live in
Kaitlyn Craig. I’m a Benefits Specialist and Engagement Coach, living in Marin County.
When did you first come to the Bay and what’s the backstory there?
I was visiting an American friend who had studied abroad in Australia about 4 years ago. I fell in love with the Bay Area and met a boy, so I decided to study for my Masters here and never left!
What was the hardest thing about moving here?
Apart from leaving behind my friends and family in Australia, which was definitely the hardest part, getting used to American sincerity was challenging. My Aussie sarcasm doesn’t always translate very well!
What was the thing you most enjoyed about the Bay when you first started living here?
There’s always something going on! From protests to street parties and everything in between, there’s never an excuse to be bored in the Bay Area.
What impact has being Australian had on your life here? In dating? In work?
Being Australian is certainly a conversation starter here. It took me a while getting used to strangers commenting on my accent all the time, especially in a work environment. Once they know I’m Australian, the conversation generally turns to dangerous animals or Sydney. Overall, I’d say just being Australian is a great way to break the ice with most people, with very little extra effort required.
What do you miss the most about home?
Tim Tams (yes, I know I can get them at Target now but the packaging looks weird and I swear they don’t taste the same), Vegemite and good bread. I’ve given up trying to find bread here that isn’t sweet – which means a big reduction in my daily carb intake!
Favorite Bay Area memory to date?
I’d have to say people watching at Gay Pride or Bay to Breakers. I just love how much effort people put into their costumes and having a good time with each other. The fact that the police here are OK with thousands of people reveling in the streets (as long as they aren’t being destructive) still blows my mind.
Best brunch spot in the Bay?
Sam’s Anchor Cafe in Tiburon on a summer day.
One thing from Australia you most want to bring to SF?
My friends and family. And pies.
Most American thing you’ve witnessed in your time here?
Going to a Cal Berkeley football game. More people show up to watch these college kids play each other than any professional sport in Australia.
Biggest thing you’d want to take back to Australia with you?
Hmm… Angel Island and all of the hiking trails in Marin County.
What’s your advice for anyone who is thinking of coming over?
Try to visit when during the summer when the weather is amazing. And if you like toast, bring your own bread.
Any advice for new arrivals on how to make the most of your time here?
Take advantage of the fact that people love Aussies here. Go out and meet people, and make the time to outside the city and explore the wider Bay Area and surroundings – you won’t be disappointed!