This is part of BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project, a daily blogging challenge with a prompt for every day in November 2011. Check out the prompt at the bottom of this post to find out how you can participate!
“Is there anything, apart from a really good chocolate cream pie and receiving a large unexpected cheque in the post, to beat finding yourself at large in a foreign city on a fair spring evening, loafing along unfamiliar streets in the long shadows of a lazy sunset, pausing to gaze in shop windows or at some church or lovely square or tranquil stretch of quayside, hesitating at street corners to decide whether that cheerful and homy restaurant you will remember fondly for years is likely to lie down this street or that one? I just love it. I could spend my life arriving each evening in a new city.” –Bill Bryson
My favorite city in the world is Portland, Oregon. Wherever I go, if I stay long enough, I get a crazy longing to be back in the Pacific Northwest. In 2008, when I landed in Christchurch, New Zealand after traveling for a two months of my RTW trip, I felt like I had landed at PDX… it was drizzly, everyone was wearing fleece jackets, drinking coffee, and I even spotted some socks with sandals. I probably had the dumbest goofy grin on my face. But it was enough to give me a taste of “home” and the city I love. I love the Pacific NW because it’s my home, and while I love the smiling faces of Thailand and the friendliness of the South, and the feeling of losing yourself in a sea of people and foreign signs in Tokyo, there’s nothing like the feeling of landing at PDX airport, and smelling the air of the Pac NW (yes, it smells different here), and seeing all the the granolas in their fleece jackets, the suburban folk in their jeans and running shoes, and even the relatively newcomers of Portland, the hipsters.
I love returning to the predictable weather of rain and more rain, and while I get really tired of the rain, there’s a sick part of me that finds it comfortable because it’s home, and I know that in
four nine months it’s going to be partially sunny and then a month later we’ll have 2-3 months filled with some of the most fantastic days of weather you could ever imagine (and yes, probably some rain thrown in too). The beauty of not having 300 days of sunshine a year, is that you don’t take it for granted when it does show up.
I love the fall in Portland (87 reasons I love it, actually). I love biking in Portland. I love the food in Portland (and food carts). I love how acceptable it is to be an odd duck in Portland. I love the rivers of Portland. I love the bridges of Portland (especially riding my bike over the Hawthorne bridge at night). I love the public transit in Portland. I love being roughly an hour between both the mountains and the Oregon coast. I love the music scene in Portland. I love all the beer in Portland (all of it!).
I. JUST. LOVE. Portland. As much as I wanted to claim a foreign city to gush about, Portland is still my favorite city in the world.
What’s your favorite city?
30 Days of Indie Travel Project: How to Participate
We’re inviting bloggers from around the world (that means you, too!) to join us in a daily blogging effort designed to reflect on how our travel experiences over the last year – or whenever – have shaped us and our view of the world. Bloggers can follow the prompts as strictly or loosely as they like, interpreting them in various ways and responding via text, photos or video posted on their own blogs.
We’ll share some of our favorites via Twitter and Facebook throughout November, as well as a round-up article at the end of the month, so if you’re playing along make sure to let us know – use the #indie30 hashtag on Twitter, and link to the 30 Days of Indie Travel page in your post so we’ll be able to find it.
Find out all of the 30 Days of Indie Travel blogging prompts so far – it’s never too late to join in the fun!
Prompt #15: CITY
What is your favorite (or least favorite) city and what do you love (or hate) about it?
Tools and inspiration: Check out some underrated cities in the US