The desire to travel is in all of us, some more than others. Few can actually say they can fulfill this desire. I am one of those lucky few. I have been coast to coast experiencing different ways of life since I was a child. My father’s job has given him opportunities to live in a number of different states, which has allowed my family and I to travel and visit him. However, when my dad received a job in Portland, Oregon, my family decided that we wanted to experience life in Portland. This was the beginning of a new life that I would never forget. Oregon changed me forever because I grew my sense of adventure, became accepting of all people’s unique personalities, and learned to stay humble.
Oregon, the land of beautiful snow capped mountains, sandy beaches, and fogged forests. Oregon opened my eyes to the wonders of nature and a sense of adventure one can only find deep in the Cascade’s astounding forests. Being in Oregon made me realize that the world deserves to be explored. The moment I looked outside my bedroom window for the first time and I saw Mt. Hood, the Cascades, and the Willamette River, my eyes were opened to a whole new world that I thought only existed in movies. After that realization, I was growing my desire to explore, feel new things, and meet new people.
Everything about Oregon was incredible, everything between the city of Portland and the ski slopes of Mt. Hood. I was blessed to do things in Oregon as a child that adults do not even dream of doing until they are well into their adulthood. I went sledding on mountain peaks, went whale watching in the Pacific, and wandered the unique streets of Portland. “Keep Portland Weird” is definitely an appropriate phrase for the city. However, Portland is good for your soul; you see these people there who are not afraid to be themselves and can express themselves freely, giving you this confidence in yourself to do exactly what they are doing.
While hiking the gorgeous mountains of the cascades and looking down at the land you just climbed, you feel this powerful sense of accomplishment that is hard to find anywhere else. However, then you look up and see that you have miles left to go and you realize how small you really are. It reminds you to stay humble. This lesson was learned in Oregon numerous times: while you were sailing on the pacific staring out into the deep blue ocean, or while you were eating dinner on the highest building in Portland, peering down at the people on the streets. Once you realize how small you really are, you also realize how grand the world around you is.
Stopping to look around you, exploring, and learning to stay humble are all very important lessons that I learned during my time in Oregon that changed my life forever. Before my Oregon life, I had been wasting my time in my house behind a computer or in front of a television. Because of my lessons learned in Oregon, on my travels today, I am able to see more than I could have ever seen before. Today, I continue to tell people that there are beautiful beaches to be laid on, mountain peaks to be climbed, and forests to be explored. I encourage people to stop and not to just look at the things around you, but to really see them.
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