Tag Archives: travel

Going Home.

I was born in the Pacific Northwest.

Not really. I was actually born in Texas and grew up in the Southwest: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico. But when I graduated from college I moved to Seattle —trading drought for damp and chiles for blackberries.

The landscape of the Pacific Northwest was so different from anything I had experienced. A big city with buses and ferries and mountains unlike anything I had seen. Water and boats and bridges, rain and clouds and more rain.

I was young, and I was living far away from my home and my parents. I was truly on my own for the first time in my life. I felt free to push myself creatively, free to allow myself to change, free to reinvent myself, free to make mistakes. I dove in headfirst, taking in the city and the surrounding landscape, making friends, falling in love, falling out of love, changing jobs, staying up too late, creating art, and generally trying to figure out who I was going to be.

So in a way, I was born in the Pacific Northwest; I became someone new there. It is as embedded in me as the Southwest: my two homes.

When I left Seattle, it was because I felt like I was done there. I had accomplished what I needed to accomplish. I had a better sense of the kind of person I wanted to be and it felt right to leave the Pacific Northwest behind to pursue new things.

But I’ll always go back.

To revisit the city is to revisit myself, to see how much I’ve grown and changed and to embrace that young person who was so hungry for life, but so uncertain where she was headed.  I’m happy to tell her it’s all going to be wonderful.

To read about Seattle eats, go to Buried Carrots.

“The 4-Hour Work Week” — part 1

OK, so I know there are plenty of posts out there about the Tim Ferriss book The 4-Hour Work Week. There’s no need for a long-winded dissection from me.

But as I type this, my bare feet are up on a windowsill in Portland, Oregon, with an incredible morning breeze coming into our hotel room; I’m relishing that perfect, teeny bit of bourbon-head that — rather than truly hurting — reminds me that I had a really fun time last night; and I’m about to go for an absolutely gorgeous run along the Willamette with my beloved spouse. We flew in yesterday from Albuquerque primarily to watch the US Women’s Soccer team play a friendly (exhibition) match against Canada last night, and it was totally worth it.

In short, it’s bliss.

If you’re familiar with the world according to Tim Ferriss, you get the connection. You might think he’s a douche as a person (I’d be inclined to agree for reasons spelled out in his book and in some high-profile blogs), and the whole package that he pushes might not work for you. But one point on which I definitely agree with him is this: Feeling free, or even successful, is not nearly so much about money as it is mobility. At least for me. Ferriss, who has earned $70K/month and more, can’t exactly speak from an either/or perspective about money vs. mobility anymore. Nor do I believe for a minute that he only works for four hours per week. But he is definitely a mobility guru.

For Karen and me, there’s nothing so fun and energizing as getting way – even for just a day or two — to explore a new city, to find the locals’ favorite coffee house, to have a few great meals somewhere new, to window shop. It doesn’t take a ton of money; on the plane here yesterday, I did a pleasant editing job that will buy us a decent dinner at the Bridgeport Brewpub tonight. It doesn’t even take a lot of time, because amazingly, consistently, a few well-filled days feel more like a week. It mainly requires mobility.

When I tell friends and colleagues about our little jaunt, too many say, “I wish I could do that.” Actually, a lot of people say the same thing when I talk about having left the corporate gig to do more of the things I love.

My response in both cases is, “Are you sure you can’t? Absolutely, positively sure?”

If you take a good, hard look at how your life is set up, do you find that you’re assuming some tethers that don’t exist, and maybe hanging onto others that needn’t?