A cold breeze rustled the ochre leaves piled along the sidewalk beside me. The wind felt good against my hot cheek, as I squinted toward the afternoon sun and continued on my tenth mile. The original intent had been a short stroll around Seattle — with barely a few hours sleep, I figured I’d tire quickly and catch a taxi toward the Space Needle — but I continued with fervor, uncovering block after block of the new city. With white-capped mountains to the east, shimmering blue water in the west, and colourful foliage all around, there was plenty to discover. And the crisp air and sunshine kept me walking along the pristine roads. Seattle was a corner of America I’d yet to visit, but I’ll undoubtedly return — it was beautiful.

Last week was Steam Dev Days — a small trade show in Seattle. Notably, I represented Ben Wander Games. Meandering around Southeast Asia might be fun, but introducing myself to peers as a professional independent game developer added a verisimilitude to this whole career choice. And the positive feedback for my idea reaffirmed that I’m on the right track. It was a small pat on the back for my hard work thus far, and further motivation to release the best experience I possibly can.

San Francisco felt normal — as if I’d vacationed for a few weeks only to resume life as it was. Some of the restaurants were new, and it rained in October(!), but the streets, the faces, the flavours were all identical. It felt like a homecoming, with the same complaints, discussions, and laughter that perpetually diffuse through that city. The nostalgia surprised me, and though there are good reasons I’m not moving back to SF for now, there was more of a tug than I’d expected.

A heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone I’ve seen the past week. Specific call outs have to go to Dino Ignacio and Matthew Rubin for dealing with me for a few nights, but all the people I encountered — in Seattle, or at Dev Days, or in SF, or back at Visceral — were fantastic. Thanks for the laughter, the drinks, the food, and the fun. Thanks for all the west coast love. And thanks for not forgetting me this past year! I’ll be back soon, I promise!

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