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One Year in Palm Springs

Posted on Location: 3 m read

After graduating from UCSD, I moved around a lot. I stayed in San Diego for a bit where I met my now-partner, and then moved to LA to pursue modeling. Stuck around for two years, and went back and forth between my tiny room and David’s spacious condo in San Diego once we started dating. The third and final year in LA, David moved and we got our first apartment together.Β Fast forward to 2018… Facebook reminded me not long ago that it’s been one amazing year in good ol’ Palm Springs!

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.

I can’t believe how quickly time flies. It feels like just yesterday we moved into our new home with giant windows and high ceilings. I was completely smitten with Palm Springs since the day our realtor showed us this place, and am happy to say that none of those feelings have changed. What has changed, is the new furniture and wall art we’ve added over time to make thisΒ our cozy abode.

We survived supposedly the craziest and one of the hottest desert summers in 2017. Since David and I are both hermits, it wasn’t so bad staying in a lot with our kids and AC. When we first moved here, I also took full advantage of our two pools and got REALLY dark, REALLY fast. It’s incredible how I can get many shades tanner in just 30 minutes of scorching heat, even with loads of sunscreen on – and I’m not complaining about it. πŸ˜‰

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While I LOVE warm weather (and would choose it any day over cold gloomy weather), shooting outdoors in the insane 125+ degree heat last year was no easy feat. Even getting up early at 5 or 6 am wouldn’t help us “beat the heat,” because it’d still be scorching 94 degrees at 2-4 am. As the hours went by, the temperatures would just go up. Long story short: summers here are a living hell if you like to be outdoors a lot, which is why “snowbirds” live here. Most of our neighbors are “snowbirds,” which means that they are only here for about half the year when it’s not unbearably hot. Many are retirees from Canada where winters are brutally cold, so they come out to Palm Springs to enjoy the nice weather and golf. Personally, I can live with a tough summer and be rewarded with perfect weather 9 out of 12 months of the year. It’s pretty crazy how we’re about to embark on our second summer here!

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When it’s time for you to venture out, don’t let fear have you looking back at what you’re leaving behind.

Even though it doesn’t feel like it’s been a year since we moved here, we definitely explored and adjusted our lifestyles a lot. Never in my life did I think that I would ditch city life to live in a desert where I know nobody, but it is one of the best decisions I’ve made. It was lonely at first, but there are so many pros to living out here that I don’t mind — and have gotten used to it. I think I’ve finally found a place I’m proud to call home. Plus, I’m lucky enough to have family & friends driving and flying out many miles to come visit. It definitely helps that Palm Springs is a hot vacation destination. Now, I feel like we live in our own little bubble!

Just last week, David and I drove to San Diego to do some shopping and to visit a friend. After getting used to driving on the same three-lane road (Highway 111) in Palm Springs where the population is 50,000 tops, we found it extremely stressful to maneuver through city traffic. Let me also clarify for non-Californians: San Diego traffic is not nearly as terrible as LA traffic. With that said, now looking back, I can’t believe we survived through all that!

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Did I mention that half the population here is gone in the summer? Helloooo ghost town, we practically own the desert. In July, I got my first luxury vehicle (another emotional milestone). Living in LA, I could never imagine myself driving a brand new BMW X5 because I’d be constantly worried about inconsiderate people dinging my car or rear-ending me. Don’t get me wrong – there are inconsiderate people here too, and accidents happen everyday like in any other town. But, parking is MUCH easier and we have the luxury of parking further away in lots where there aren’t as many cars. Like I said, driving down the same road to get literally anywhere gives me some certainty, so I’m not stressed about when to turn or where to go next. Getting around here is so easy-peasy. I couldn’t say the same living in a big city like LA or SD.

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To find this cute neon #PALMSPRINGSISBETTER sign, visit Ice Cream & Shop(pe), my favorite ice cream shop in the desert. Not only is their ice cream delish, they have the cutest little shop where you can find classic Palm Springs souvenirs. My personal recommendation on an ice cream flavor? Pomegranate Chip. It’s BOMB!


One thing that’s taken me a while to adjust to is the lack of good Asian food out here. There are no Asian markets nearby. As someone who has grown up eating Asian food for every meal (including breakfast), it’s tough. The few Asian restaurants we’ve tried have either been a) overpriced, b) mediocre at best, or c) all of the above. Actually, dining out here in general is on the pricey side since it’s a tourist destination. It’s a major bummer on days we just want to go out to eat and not worry about cooking & cleaning up the kitchen. On the other hand though, it’s encouraged us to cook often and be more conscious of what we feed our bodies. There’s always a silver lining, right?

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As you can see, I’ve compiled some of my favorite photos to recap my first year of Palm Springs living. David has become an avid gardener, collecting plenty of succulents, cacti, and more — many of which are from Moorten Botanical Garden located just five minutes from us. This garden has a very picturesque walkway filled with an endless variety ofΒ plants.
We’ve also explored new hiking trails with the dogs, became familiar with popular shopping areas, and got an annual pass to The Living Desert where we take our weekly walks while enjoying nature and making new animal friends.
When we first relocated, iconic Desert X exhibits were all over. This mirrored house was one of our favorites, and we were blessed with a beautiful sunset the night David captured this!
It’s still surreal living just 15 minutes away from my favorite hotel ever, Korakia Pensione in downtown Palm Springs. I love that this one is so different from other hotels in that it’s a boutique one — but in every photogenic way ever. It’s literally a blogger’s dream. Unfortunately, the staff here can be sticklers about picture taking depending on your luck, so any shots taken here most likely has to be on a cell phone.
The Coachella Valley is home to a plethora of gorgeous hotels, and it’s always fun walking through them. We have not done a staycation yet but I’ve definitely accumulated a list of hotels I’d love to stay at soon! Would you like me to make a post sharing my favorite local hotels?
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Have you made a life-changing move recently? What was your experience like?

What do you think?

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60 Comments
  • Eileen
    April 2, 2018

    That’s amazing you were able to survive the crazy summer! I couldn’t imagine living in Palm Springs in the summer. But it must be nice having good weather for most of the year. No traffic is a bonus too πŸ™‚ glad you found a home you love!

    • Sharon Wu
      April 2, 2018

      Haha yeah! The summers here are not the most comfortable but I like having warm weather year-round so I guess that’s the trade off. No traffic is AMAZING though! Thank you darling xx

  • Brooklyn | La Ti Do
    April 2, 2018

    Gorgeous photography!

  • Gita
    April 2, 2018

    Ok I’m definitely adding Palm Springs to my list of places to visit. And also OMG that puppy!

    • Sharon Wu
      April 2, 2018

      YES! It’s definitely worth a visit πŸ˜‰ just come now or after the summer months because it’s about to get into the hundreds soon! The black pug puppy is literally twice the size now haha they grow too fast!

  • stella
    April 2, 2018

    Happy move-iversary girl! So glad you’re enjoying life in Palm Springs. Always a pleasure seeing your beautiful photos in the desert. Looking forward to more to come! πŸ™‚

    • Sharon Wu
      April 2, 2018

      Thank you Stella! Appreciate the love and support <3 xx

  • Short Girl Long Jacket
    April 2, 2018

    Congrats on your first year, it sounds like it was an amazing move for you guys! I’ve always lived in cities so I can’t really imagine not living in one, but I’d be open to it if the town was cool enough haha.

    • Sharon Wu
      April 2, 2018

      Thank you darling! Yes, it was a great move. After college I told my dad that I am a city girl… I was made for LA. He told me to give it a couple years, I’ll take it back. He knows me so well… lol! I can still definitely appreciate city life but after living in the desert for a year I prefer visiting cities and living away from all the traffic and crowds.

  • Suzanne
    April 2, 2018

    Palm Springs looks so amazing! Glad you had fun.

    • Sharon Wu
      April 2, 2018

      Thanks Suzanne! I am looking forward to many more fun years to come here πŸ™‚

  • the eye traveler
    April 2, 2018

    Your photos are phenomenal! what do you use to edit your pics? Also, palm spring looks a great place for you ;p

    • Sharon Wu
      April 2, 2018

      Thank you babe! I appreciate it. My boyfriend edits most of my photos on Lightroom/Photoshop, and then occasionally I’ll use VSCO/Snapseed/Afterlight to give the photo a more film look πŸ™‚ For photos I take on my phone I pretty much just use those apps!

  • Carolyn
    April 2, 2018

    Sounds like you’ve had quite an adventure in Palm Springs so far! I’ve never been but would love to visit. Really I’m jealous of any warm and sunny place because I live in Iowa haha!

    • Sharon Wu
      April 2, 2018

      Yes I have! It’s been so much fun and I can’t wait to spend many more years here πŸ™‚ I have never been to Iowa but would love to visit one day. You should come to Palm Springs! There’s never a shortage of warm weather here really hahaha

  • Nicole
    April 2, 2018

    Well I live in Michigan and our weather is fairly nice for 5 out of 12 months, lol! I always tell the hubby as soon as the kids move out we are heading south!

    • Sharon Wu
      April 2, 2018

      LOL!!! Where exactly in the south are you planning on moving?! I’ve heard nice things about Michigan actually — so I want to head out there one day just to feed my curiosity. You ought to visit Palm Springs if you want warm weather πŸ™‚

  • Annette Dattilo
    April 2, 2018

    Really enjoyed reading your recap from the year. Your photos are so pretty.

    • Sharon Wu
      April 2, 2018

      Awww thank you for reading Annette! You’re the sweetest! xo

  • Kileen
    April 2, 2018

    So exciting babe!! Good for you for going out of your comfort zone, so many awesome things ahead!

    Kileen
    cute & little

    • Sharon Wu
      April 2, 2018

      Thank you Kileen! I appreciate the support! <3 xo

  • Mariann Yip
    April 2, 2018

    These photos are amazing and I’m so glad you were able to find a place to call home. I haven’t explored California but would love to visit Palm Springs now!

    • Sharon Wu
      April 3, 2018

      Thank you Mariann! You should totally come visit hehe πŸ™‚

  • These photos make me want to visit Palm Springs! I like that there is minimal traffic and gorgeous weather!

    • Sharon Wu
      April 3, 2018

      It’s a nice place to live and a wonderful vacation destination. Definitely come swing by if you’re in Southern California! πŸ™‚

  • Stephanie
    April 3, 2018

    I absolutely loved reading through this! It’s so cool to think it’s been a year! I honestly can’t believe how quickly time flew! I feel like ya’ll were just announcing the move last month haha! And YES YES YES to the hotel post! I want to honeymoon in PS so my fiancΓ© and I need all the recommendations we can get!

    • Sharon Wu
      April 3, 2018

      Aww thanks for reading Stephanie! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Time surely flies by quickly which is why it’s so important to cherish every moment. I will work on putting together a post with my fave hotels in time for you & your fiancΓ©’s honeymoon. I’m elated that you’ve chosen to have your honeymoon here! You know you can always shoot me a message any time for personal recs in the area <3 xo

  • Taylor Mobley
    April 3, 2018

    Holy cow you are so TAN! I can’t get that tan even if I lived in the sun. How fun that you’ve been there a year.

    • Sharon Wu
      April 3, 2018

      Hahaha it’s one of the perks living out here! Even darker in the summer πŸ˜‰ cannot wait to lay out by the pool more… in fact, I think I’m headed there now!

  • Samantha Mariko
    April 3, 2018

    This first year in Palm Springs must have flown by for the two of you! I’ve lived in the city (LA then Tokyo) for 10 years now and I honestly couldn’t imagine living somewhere like Palm Springs; however, I am envious of the luxuries you can experience because you live there, like space, no crowds or traffic, and probably having more time to chill out too πŸ™‚ Also, GORGEOUS photos!!
    xo Samantha

    • Sharon Wu
      April 3, 2018

      It most certainly did fly by! I ask myself where the time went everyday lol. I guess you are a city girl! I admire people who are able to keep up with the hustle and bustle that comes with city life everyday; I get way too stressed out for that haha. I love that it’s slower paced here and I can get what I need to get done on my own time! Thanks Samantha for the love and support always xo

  • Deborah
    April 3, 2018

    Wow I’ve always wanted to go to Palm Springs! How lovely! Congrats on one year there!

    • Sharon Wu
      April 3, 2018

      Thank you so much Deborah! You ought to come out some time! It’s beautiful πŸ™‚ xx

  • Kimmie
    April 3, 2018

    Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! I have always wanted to visit Palm Springs it’s on my to do list!

    • Sharon Wu
      April 3, 2018

      Thank you Kimmie! You’re the sweetest. I’m happy to pass on recommendations if you ever do come out! xx

  • Lauren
    April 3, 2018

    I can’t imagine being there in the summer! But I’m jealous of you while I have snow right now. Loved this post πŸ™‚

    Xx,

    Lauren | Lifestylesbylauren.com

    • Sharon Wu
      April 3, 2018

      Haha aww! Don’t feel too bad — I’ll be going to New York for a week and I know it’s going to be colddddd hahaha. Stay warm darling! x

  • Hannah Becker
    April 3, 2018

    Your place looks amazing! I had no idea that Palm Springs was home to such a seasonal population – how interesting!

  • adriana
    April 3, 2018

    Palm Springs is one of the best spots ever! So lucky you live there πŸ™‚ I love your pictures and it really sounds like an amazing experience!

    • Sharon Wu
      April 3, 2018

      I am totally blessed! Thank you lovely! xo

  • Lauryn Hock
    April 3, 2018

    WOW you’re post has me wanting to move to Palm Springs. Such gorgeous photos.

    • Sharon Wu
      April 3, 2018

      Hahaha! I’m glad it gave you that feeling! I love it here so far πŸ™‚ Thank you love! x

  • mel
    April 3, 2018

    This post officially makes me want to go to Palm Springs! What a gorgeous spot! And definitely better weather than here in Toronto haha

    xx, mel
    http://melinspired.com/3-ways-get-ready-get-inspired-spring/

    • Sharon Wu
      April 4, 2018

      Haha you should totally come visit! You’ll have a lot of fun πŸ™‚ So many insta-worthy spots around here! I have yet to visit Toronto but one of my good friends is from there πŸ™‚ Have to make my way out maybe this summer when it gets too unbearably hot here lol!

  • jane
    April 3, 2018

    This is such an amazing trip.
    I love the photos.

    http://www.thebandwagonchic.com

    • Sharon Wu
      April 4, 2018

      Thanks babe! It has been a fun ride indeed πŸ™‚

  • Megan Elliott
    April 4, 2018

    I visited Palm Springs a few years ago, but the trip was super brief. I’d love to spend some more time there! Sounds like such a cool place.

    • Sharon Wu
      April 4, 2018

      Ahh! You have to come back and see everything Palm Springs has to offer πŸ˜‰ I promise it’ll be worth it! xx

  • Azanique
    April 4, 2018

    What a fun to celebrate one year in such a fun place! I am looking to move far away soon and am excited to see how my life will change πŸ™‚

    -xo, Azanique | http://www.lotsofsass.com

    • Sharon Wu
      April 4, 2018

      Thank you Azanique! It was surely a fun year here in Palm Springs and I’m really looking forward to more to come! Where are you moving?! Best of luck with the move and I can’t wait to hear all about it xo

  • Denise Kokinis
    April 5, 2018

    OMG this looks like an amazingly gorgeous and picturesque place! I visited when I was young, but it has been so long!

    Denise | Fashion Love Letters

    • Sharon Wu
      April 5, 2018

      It really is! I always joke with my friends saying that it’s insta-worthy at every corner hahaha. You’ll have to come back and visit! πŸ™‚

  • jane
    April 5, 2018

    Looks like you had an amazing trip there
    Love all the photos

    http://www.thebandwagonchic.com

    • Sharon Wu
      April 6, 2018

      It’s been a fun ride this year for sure! Can’t wait for more adventures in Palm Springs πŸ™‚

  • Tony Michelle
    April 6, 2018

    You always have the most stunning pictures, WOW- they could be post cards! Palm Springs sounds amazing

    • Sharon Wu
      April 6, 2018

      Thanks darling! That’s quite the compliment. I appreciate the love <3 Have a great weekend!

  • Jessica
    April 6, 2018

    Palm Springs look so much fun dear. Your photos are amazing, some look so surreal. And yes, being able to cook your own food is quite a good silver lining; you can definitely pick the best and most nutritious ingredients for your recipes.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com</a<

    • Sharon Wu
      April 6, 2018

      Thank you Jessica! That means a lot coming from you <3 I've been loving life here in Palm Springs so far and you're so right -- being able to pick the best and most nutritious ingredients for my recipes is a big perk πŸ˜‰

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