September 12, 2013
After almost three months since my last visit to the Oregon coast, I have finally returned for a long weekend of camping alone. Less than two weeks ago, I attempted to make a more permanent move to Eugene in the context of an unstable work/living situation, which was quickly falling apart. Unsure of what was going to happen and what my next move would be, revisiting the place I felt most independent and inspired seemed like an appropriate place to reevaluate.
Since my return yesterday, I have been overcome with joy, happiness, awe, and excitement, and even wrote an Ode to the Oregon Coast during last night's sunset. The stunning surroundings have lifted my mood immensely and the natural silence of the environment spiked my creativity as I turned my attention inward. And just like my first visit to the Oregon coast in June, I felt like being here was what my soul needed.
Before departing Seattle to return to the coast, I made some connections that lead to introductions to very interesting, like-minded people, whose company would eventually lead to inspiring conversations and new adventures. The best part of these connections was the simple reminder that interacting with like-minded and passionate people has a somewhat contagious effect... I felt reinvigorated about my plans and goals and could feel my energy resurfacing in spite of the challenges I'd recently been facing.
*September 25, 2013*
I’ve been known to take some pretty epic falls. I’m not talking about a little trip, or slide to one knee, but full-blown face plants and bleacher blowouts; the kinds of falls where you hear everyone gasp and hold their breath, waiting to see if something is broken or if they can laugh at the ridiculous failure of my feet.
At one of UNR’s biggest football games, I was walking with a friend in front of the boxes, and ended up slipping and falling down seven rows of bleachers, in front of hundreds of people. At my own birthday party, I was walking with a group of about 20+ people to a baseball game, and when a friend tried to give me a "flat tire," I actually ended up flying into the air and landing, arms and face first into the pavement. But every time it happens, I get up, brush myself off, and am the first to laugh at the hilarity that seems so epic it could’ve been staged on a sitcom. Bruised and limping, I play it off, knowing that if it weren’t me, I’d probably be laughing too, and that in a day or two (or perhaps a couple weeks when they’re really bad) it’ll all be forgotten as that one time I fell like a bumbling fool.
Home… What a concept for contemplation, and one that is particularly highlighted when traveling. If you look up the definition for ‘home,’ you will find thirty-one different options, not counting the sub-headings; for example, just in relation to nautical adverbs for home, there are three different definitions, “into the position desired; perfectly or to the greatest possible extent: sails sheeted home,” being one of my personal favorites. But the home I’m talking about is the first and most familiar definition: “a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.”
Having moved out of my apartment in the first half of May, I haven’t had a place of my own since then. At the end of August, I realized that there was only one place in the last few months, that I had spent two weeks or more, and it only happened once. As we’re approaching six months since I’ve moved out, I’ve estimated that most of the time I stay in a place for about 2-5 nights, with only the very occasional 7-10; and by magic, kindness, and generosity, I stayed in one place for almost a month in October. I think, by definition, I might be considered "home-less," but I often feel it is quite the contrary.
aka: Coastal Love, pt. 2
*September 10, 2013*
Once I arrived at my camp spot for the night, all I could think was “WOW!!” I was practically screaming “It’s so BEAUTIFUL here!” every few minutes (in fact I may have scared some people who heard me through my windows). Every curve of the road revealed incredible, lush, misty forest, a new perspective of the ocean, and glimpses of the sun slowly falling towards the horizon. Suddenly, I remembered exactly how I felt the first time I approached the Oregon coast driving up from the south, almost exactly three months ago. The general feeling? This is it! This is the place I’ve been dreaming of my whole life, this is the place I’ve always imagined could exist, this is the place that lights up my inspiration and speaks to my soul. I did note a strange sense of settling last time I arrived in Oregon via the coast…
I set up camp as quickly as I could, for having arrived at sunset, I was racing the light to avoid having to set up in the dark. Once I did, I headed to the beach, and unlike my camping on the southern Oregon coast, it was an extremely short walk to the water (where I camped before was in the Dunes area, and hiking the dunes to get to the water is like trekking through a mountainous Sahara with many more lush oasis’ on the way). Upon arriving at the beach, the “WOW’s!” only continued...
aka: Coastal Love, pt. 1
*June 14 & 15, 2013*
**All italic quotes are taken directly from journal entries, which were added just prior to posting**
Upon waking up in Crescent City, CA, grateful to have my car troubles in the past, I decided I was ready to leave California. California has always been kind of like a backyard to me, born in San Diego and living in Reno, it was never too far to get to the Golden State. Until this trip, I had never really spent time in northern California, so I was happy to for the chance, but decided that although the characteristics associated with living in California (such as the high cost of living, large populations, etc), may be mitigated in the north, they were still present. It’s a beautiful land, filled with easy-going hippies, and while it’s a great place to visit, I wasn’t feeling the calling to stay there much longer.
Trusting my gut has been a big theme in this trip; from the moment I started considering it, I needed to find my own confidence and certainty, despite any naysayers I would encounter. Throughout the trip, my plans have been consistently changing; being able to trust my intuition, and the little voice in my heart that sings when I’m in the right place and goes mute in the wrong ones, has been a challenge to consistently listen to and follow. But on this lovely morning, there was no hesitation; I packed up camp and headed into Oregon.
*July 9, 2013*
Today was my first day back in Eugene, and the first place I’ve left and returned to since I’ve embarked on this journey. People have asked me what I like about the places I’ve been to and which I like most, and when I talk about Eugene, it feels like everything. I spent most of the day working on cleaning/organizing projects, which admittedly made me feel productive and relaxed, giving me a kind of a settling in feeling, but I decided I needed to go for a walk during the cooling evening-into-dusk hours to separate myself from the projects I had been entrenched in and the still, hot air that shrouded the inside. I needed the fresh air and would hopefully find some writing inspiration and clarity along the way.
It was a beautiful evening. A quiet Tuesday where most people are laying low amidst the work week, or attempting to let the hot weather ride itself out; either way, there wasn’t much going on. I easily floated back to previous walks through the neighborhood with my tour guide the last time I was there, occasionally remembering a moment with such a crispness that it made me question that it had occurred over three weeks ago. What do I love about Eugene…
*July 16th, 2013*
Despite my recent extremism when it comes to some dichotomies, such as the age-old question, I still strongly lean towards finding balance. The concept of having roots and wings may seem like a bit of an oxymoron, but it’s been a key part of this journey for me.
During the extensive debate on what I would name my website, I made a list of key words that were inspiring to me or that seemed to capture some essence of what I was seeking. I still keep that list with me and look at it when I’m seeking inspiration or linguistic reminders, and “roots” was a huge one on there; I came up with at least 5 different possible website names with “roots” in it.
July 15th. I’m stuck in the middle! I’ve been wandering for about two months now, and have just under one month before my planned return to Reno; though, for how long I will return is still undecided. I feel like I’m, roughly, in the middle of this summer journey, by definition in the exact middle of July, and seemingly, in the middle of any decision-making processes I may be attempting. Originally I had planned to be making my way towards western BC by now, but due to the nature of traveling, and the ever-changing plans, detours, & unexpected adventures, I’ve found myself approximately, and quite synchronistically, in the middle of Oregon. I’m literally and figuratively, ‘stuck in the middle.’ In regards to this portion of my adventure, I have one month ahead of me and weeks of stories behind me, but I’ve been stuck with traveler’s indecision and writer’s block. Where to go from here??
Usually I’m all about balance, tending to believe that the middle ground is the most stable and provides the most equilibrium – usually a place I like to be or strive for. But there is one regard in which I am starting to question that logic, and I may just be turning into an extremist of a very specific kind…
Stories from the road-trip that inspired moving to the PNW, and other travel adventures.