Uprooting your life and starting somewhere new is an exhilarating experience. I have to admit Portland was nowhere on the list of places I wanted to move to after graduation (but the unattainable cities of New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco certainly were). But now that I'm here, I'm simply in love.
What attracted me to Portland was its inescapable character. I used to think this city was "just the smaller version of Seattle." It's definitely not.
Only in Portland can you find people so passionate about non-traditional art, literature, brunch, beer, bikes, nature, bridges, plaid, coffee and their own impact on the environment. This place has so much infectious energy and creativity that you can't help but feel just a little bit more alive while walking down the street.
I moved into an old 1920s hotel that's been completely remodeled on the inside, making for the perfect combination of modern and historic design. My apartment building is really just one example of how Portland embraces both the old and the new. It feels like every street corner has a new hotel juxtaposed with an old restaurant and vice versa.
I've made fast friends here that are kind enough to take me to their favorite dining spots like Cha Cha Cha!, Circa 33, Serrato and 23Hoyt. I can't even go a few days without trying a new restaurant. Luckily for me, I won't be running out of options anytime soon.
I quickly discovered what makes everyone tick around here: Sunday brunch. Whether it's a mammoth helping of French Toast at The Daily Café or Blue Star Donuts (at 1pm), the whole city seems to celebrate this meal like it's something sacred. Just that reason alone makes me realize I'm going to fit in here just fine.
I'm in love with my life. Living and working in Portland is one of the reasons why. I feel like I've only explored the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this charming city. I have a feeling there are far more surprises to uncover than I pictured.