Ever since my first trip to Seattle to attend a conference when I was barely 20 years old, I have had a love affair with the Pacific Northwest. Rugged, mountainous, and green, the pristine beauty of it captivated me and has continuously called me back. I was born in Oregon, so it might also be literally in my blood.
While living in Alaska, I met one of my closest friends who was originally from Seattle and then moved back to the area shortly after I relocated to New York City. This provided me with a welcome excuse to make regular visits to the PNW and, over the years, I spent months getting to know the area better (and falling even deeper in love).
Here are just a few of the things that make me love the Emerald City so much that after my first visit, I wanted to move there (I actually ended up in Alaska instead, but that’s a story for another time):
- It’s surrounded by water AND mountains
- The San Juan Islands are just a hop and a skip
- The Space Needle – there’s just something cool and distinctive about that building that I love
- More houseboats per capita than any other city
- It was the main set for Sleepless in Seattle (one of my favorite movies of all time)
- Mount Rainier – who doesn’t love a mountain that seems to just come and go of its own accord?
- Microbreweries – not that we don’t have them in the Bay Area too, but I was first introduced to them in Seattle
- Olympic National Park – ’nuff said
- Pike Place Market – everything about it is awesome
- Totally unique tourist attractions – I mean, where else can you find a Bubble Gum Wall and a Bridge Troll?
I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
A few years ago, my sister and her family relocated to the Seattle area due my brother-in-law’s job with the Navy. They arrived with my two handsome nephews and beautiful niece and, with my brother-in-law’s deployments, I had the opportunity to move there spend a truly sweet year with all of them…and the PNW.
Recently I’ve been reviewing some of the old posts I wrote when I had a personal travel blog, some of them following my return from trips to Seattle and something struck me. How, as much as I love that part of the country and I enjoy being there, that even when you visit a favorite spot, sometimes it’s more about the people you’re with (or the ones you’re visiting) that can be the highlight of a trip.
The time spent, the special moments, the shared experiences, and the laughs with people who know you well – all these things can take a trip from good to great to fabulous to mondo-fabulous.
Sometimes it’s definitely the places we visit and the things we do that make a trip, but then sometimes it really is the people.