I left “my new city” of Oak-town for a 10 day plane, bus and train adventure to visit Portland to see what all the incredible fuss is about the city, to stop to see a friend in Seattle (whom I met 8 years ago on my very first trip solo to London, where did 8 years go?) and then to spend time with my great aunt in Vancouver.
Portland was a whirlwind of activity. Within 2 hours of my flight touching down, I boarded a train that dropped me 6 blocks from my hostel and then a new Portlander met me and we wandered around the city for several hours. I love the travel community I’m apart of. We wandered the city for 4 hrs, enjoying Korean tacos from a truck (quite the hit with a 30 minute wait and then bam- sold out!), voodoo doughnuts, “the magic is in the hole” (hmmm, no insinuation here…) where you can order an “old dirty bastard’ (drizzled peanut butter and chocolate with oreo crumbles) or a fruit looped topped doughnut? Whatever strikes your fancy. At whatever hour.
Good conversation. Good times.
Next day, I was off on a bike ride (and I rarely hop on a bike) with another friend exploring the beautiful and bike friendly city, where cars and bikes know how to share the road= Awesome. 10 miles later and I’m a bike convert. Who’d have known biking to be so much fun and so Freeing! If only my city was as bike friendly.
I could go on and on. My whirlwind of newness was thanked by relaxing times in Seattle where I wasn’t focused on getting to know the city as I was catching up with a long time friend.
And then a wonderful BBQ on the water. Good food. Beautiful sunset. Inspiring conversation. Magical.
This is why I travel. Heightened awareness and beauty in everything. The Unexpected. Being in the moment.
I find myself thriving off experiencing a lot. I love jumping in, giving life a big whirl and seeing what happens. No expectations, hardly any plans. Just going with what’s in front of me. But if I’m not careful and don’t take time to relax, I see how easy it’s to overdo it.
Vancouver- familiar and lovely. I love how I’ve been here several times before so there’s no urge to “see everything.” I can just be. I enjoy strolling down my Great Aunt’s street, check out a few shops and then dine solo for sushi (yum). Walking to the beach. people watching. Tasting blackberries on my way. Admiring the scenery and feeling the sun kissing my skin.
…I could get used to this…