Aug 09, 2019 - Dylan Welch
In case you haven't heard, we launched our #WhySanDiego contest last week on Instagram. We know that every San Diegan has a story and a unique reason why they choose San Diego. We asked SDLC Ambassador Dylan Welch to share his story, and it's really good. Read it below, and hopefully you'll feel inclined to share yours too. Post your #WhySanDiego story on Instagram by August 15, and you could win the ultimate Passport to SD. Visit WhySanDiego.org for more details.
Growing up in a small town in upstate New York, I always dreamed about Southern California. Seeing it on TV, in movies, and hearing all the music talking about the sun, the beaches, and the lifestyle seemed appealing to me when it was 10 degrees outside and there was a foot of snow on the ground.
It wasn't a matter of if I would move there, it was a matter of when.
Directly out of college I got a job working in Florence, Italy, as a Marketing Manager for a travel company. I traveled every weekend around Europe and lived and worked with some of my closest friends. Every weekend I'd be snowboarding in the Swiss Alps, on a yacht in Greece, or sipping champagne in the French Riviera. Quite the experience for a recent college graduate.
I felt like the living embodiment of some sort of Great Gatsby and James Bond hybrid. Fun fact - I even snuck into the Great Gatsby movie premiere in the Cannes Film Festival, but that's a story for another time.
Life was great, and for nearly two years this was my daily routine, but I could feel like something new for me was on the horizon, and I had to scratch that itch. I downed my last Limoncello shot, finished my last croissant, and moved back to upstate New York.
I remember sitting in my parents basement thinking to myself what was my next step in life - maybe I had made the wrong decision by leaving that company? I mean I was getting paid to travel, does it get any better than that?
I wrote down the things that were important to me:
1. I wanted to live in a city.
2. I wanted to live by the beach.
3. I wanted to work in the media industry.
I narrowed my search down to three cities: Miami, San Diego, and Los Angeles.
Miami seemed a little flashy for my style, so I crossed it off my list. Los Angeles seemed like the obvious decision when it comes to working in media, but I thought it was cliche to move to LA to work in show biz. I didn't want to be another statistic or failed writer/director/actor in LA.
San Diego it was. I had never been to San Diego in my life. In fact, all I really knew about San Diego was what I saw in the movie Anchorman. I had two friends who lived in San Diego at the time, so I figured if all else fails, I could crash on their couches for a few months and move back to my parents basement if nothing works out.
I bought a one way ticket and started applying to job after job. I had two weeks before my flight out and during that time I reached out to over 150 different businesses. Only one responded. They said "When you get out to San Diego, give us a call and we'll set up an interview." That was enough for me to pack my bags.
I put a deposit down on an apartment in Pacific Beach, took the money I made in Italy, and headed west.
Fast forward four years. I've produced over 1,000 television shows and podcasts, I now run my own company, I have amazing clients, I live on the beach, I have an amazing golden retriever puppy, a beautiful girlfriend, amazing friends, a production studio, and a house with a balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
San Diego to me is a representation of what the American Dream is. I took a similar pilgrimage my ancestors took before me. I left the comfort of my home to make something of myself. I started with nothing, but after working hard and consistently over the course of time I built up my own little empire. What's ironic about this is that I actually worked as the Executive Producer on a TV show called "The American Dream".
As for working in the media space, San Diego is the perfect place for me. The media industry is always changing, and as a business owner I am always looking at ways to capitalize on a changing market. San Diego is progressive enough that people are open to trying new things and many of the businesses are at the forefront of pushing the boundaries of old industries into new directions.
Now I have three goals: To build my own San Diego empire, use the power and influence of social media and digital media to help people, and last but certainly not least, enjoy each and every day I have in this amazing city.
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