I Am San Francisco: Nick Whittlesey | San Francisco Travel
Nick Whittlesey barefoot on Ocean Beach

I Am San Francisco:
Nick Whittlesey

As an employee of one of the largest management consulting firms on the planet, Nick Whittlesey counters a daunting workload with surf sessions at San Francisco’s famous Ocean Beach.

Yin and yang has long been a central concept in Chinese philosophy, explaining not only how opposites can coexist but also create equilibrium. Throughout his life, Nick Whittlesey has continuously found sanctuary in straddling two opposing ideas. Half-Ethiopian and half-Swedish, he was born into a life of beautiful duality. Twenty-six years later, he balances the physical effort of trimming the best waves the Pacific Ocean has to offer with the formidable mental grind of working for one of the largest management consulting firms on the planet.

Nick Whittlesey video still

I am Nick and I am San Francisco

You are always welcome

Living in the Sunset neighborhood allows Nick to match his easy-going temperament with the pace and vibe of the community. It also makes the 5 a.m. Friday surf sessions a little more manageable. His neighborhood provides him all the reprieve he needs from the fast-paced Financial District. Living in the Sunset means traversing the boundlessness of Golden Gate Park, indulging your senses at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, or simply planting your feet in the sand to feel a childlike joy run through your body.

For Nick, San Francisco represents a mosaic of cultures all coming together to form a city that prides itself on its diversity. People can find their very own community in one of the many neighborhoods this city has to offer. For more than a century, San Francisco has provided a sense of belonging to everyone. Still, its real power lies in how the city encourages harmony between those distinctly different cultures. From Nick’s perspective, this is what makes San Francisco special. This is what we must work not only to preserve but to enhance. San Francisco mustn't lose its equilibrium. It must continue to find its yin and yang as it welcomes people from all corners of the world.

Nick Whittlesey sitting on a tree stump.

When you're surfing at Fort Point, you're on your stomach and you've got the Golden Gate Bridge 300 feet above you. It's such an incredible view.

Hear Nick in His Own Words

The Golden Gate Bridge at sunset with a multicolored sky and the San Francisco Bay in the foreground.
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