Touring with Tell:
Northern California

Holly Cowley
Holly Cowley

July 20th, 2021

Maris and Snickers at Yosemite National Park

One of the coolest things about working with Tell, is the opportunity to connect with people from all over the world. Our work group chat is filled with a range of perspectives, our own go-to translators, and some pretty instagrammable photos. As a team we’ve visited, lived in and worked from so many incredible places. It would be selfish of us not to share some of our highlights. Therefore, this is the first blog in our new series ‘Touring With Tell’ where we will (virtually) show you around some of the beautiful places we are from and feel connected to. First off we have Maris’ tour of her home state California, or more specifically Northern California including the Northern Central Valley and the Bay Area.

When chatting to Maris, she made sure to cover everything and anything you could want to know when planning to visit Northern California.

What to pack?
As is to be expected, if you decide to travel in the summer, it gets hot hot HOT! Make sure to bring lots of summer clothes, sunscreen, and moisturiser/lotion. Maris warns that “the heat is exceptionally dry and when I have come back from humid areas, my skin was NOT happy with me.” It really helps to keep your skin protected when you're spending lots of time outside. Which you of course will be with all the beautiful scenery to see!

When to go?
Maris suggests trying to go during the spring, between April and June, as “summer is often hot and overcrowded plus the risk of wildfires interrupting your holiday goes up exponentially.” Though St. Patrick's Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day Weekends are great times to visit, it's better to go during more chill times so prices are more reasonable and it’s a little less busy. Make sure to pack a sweater though during this time of year!

Where to stay?
Air BnBs are always the best bet. Accommodation is pretty pricey when traveling, and so being able to scavenge for hotels is also a good plan of action. Maris highlights that hostels aren't a big thing in the States, even in big cities, so try to avoid relying on them. Maris also says that “if you're looking for ways to meet people on your travels, I would suggest CouchSurfing”.

What to Eat?
Arguably the most important question is ‘what is there to eat?’ and Maris has us covered! “I am a huge fan of grabbing an Ike's sandwich when I'm near one. In the Bay Area, there are plenty to go around. They have a massive selection of sandwiches, many of which are veggie friendly”! She also suggests In-N-Out which is an absolute staple on the West Coast.

Where to visit?
The most interesting places in NorCal are definitely the National and State Parks, especially Yosemite which is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and Big Sur situated on the Central California Coastline. Of course, San Francisco and Monterey are two other fantastic options on the coast! Now, it’s almost definitely going to be sunny when you visit so outdoor activities are pretty easy. You can go for a hike just about anywhere it seems. Even in San Francisco! Traveling to see the Pacific is fabulous and going to wineries if you're able to, is also a must. But what if you do get a day of less pleasant weather? Maris has us covered - “there are lots of places to enjoy some rest from your hikes with some refreshments and food. I love going to local breweries and trying out their weird beers and quirky bar foods or just having some water to stay hydrated and enjoy the view.”

Some of her top tips for visiting the states are to remember that there’s a big tipping culture in America so remember that when sitting down for a meal. Also, “Americans also don't understand putting mayo on chips, so don't be shocked if they are”. Finally, I asked what souvenir someone has to bring back from a trip to Northern California. Maris suggested rounding off your trip with a bottle of gold flakes, saltwater taffy, or a Redwood Tree growing kit! Maris is passionate about all of the wonderful things NorCal has to offer having grown up there. When asked why she loves it so much she replied, “It has a special place in my heart. I love being able to revisit all of the places I've gone before with new eyes and really see the beauty of the state like new every time”.

This series is fast becoming one of our favourites, so keep your eyes peeled for the next installment. We love working with international people whether that be in-office or remotely. The unique perspectives and ways of work each person brings with them helps shape our team and keep us at the forefront of expansion and innovation.