Thank you, Portland.

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I moved to Portland, OR in October 2016. After five jobs, lots of coffee and yerba mate, and a deeper love and appreciation for nature, I'll be relocating to San Antonio, TX at the end of May 2018. This is a list of my gratitudes to the city I called home for 1.5 years:

  • Drizzly and overcast is the general theme of the #PNW. Seasonal depression was my blessing in disguise - it reaffirms your strength and ability to overcome physical, emotional, and mental fatigue, again and again. Finding happiness without the sun, and fully soaking up its glory when it shines, has been the most salient of my lessons here. I finally know why everyone is literally always talking about the weather.
  • I didn't spend a lot of my childhood in nature, and honestly, I didn't begin to enjoy hiking and camping until after I finished undergrad. Meanwhile, kids here get to do all that growing up in their own backyard! I love living a mere 10 minutes away from a quick hike completely immersed in trees, making me feel like I got teleported out into a distant forest. Forest bathing is so therapeutic, y'all.
    • Composting as a city requirement was new to me, but now it's a way of life! It just makes so much sense and my trash bin is cleaner and much more condensed!
    • Learning how to properly layer and finally purchasing a quality rain jacket was a game changer. I may have developed a slight outerwear and rainproofing obsession while living here. 
  • The many career opportunities:
    • Getting to go on a cross-country tour as part of my job
    • Helping leverage a local nonprofit that I truly believe in
    • Working for causes I truly believe in and am passionate about
  • To be honest, I didn't make a lot of friends here. Did my California-ness show too much? To the close friends I did make, I'm really sad to be leaving them. They're truly amazing people who I want to keep in touch with for the rest of my life.
  • The realization that no matter how "hipster," "liberal," and "trendy" a place may be, there's always going to be problematic people and issues. From the micro-aggressions and Trump bumper stickers to the inequality of female apparel at athletic employee stores and uneducated Yelp reviews for Asian restaurants, there's a lot more progress to be made, no matter where you go.
Mi NguyenComment