After college, I was certain I’d pack up my things and, like the pioneers before me, head west for opportunity (as well as microbreweries). With relatives in Oregon as well as an impressive list of advertising agencies, Portland seemed like my next best step.
Although still living in Salt Lake City, and happily so, I believe that a part of you always feels a strong association with the places you almost went. The signs of this are easy to spot:
- An episode of House Hunters featuring said city takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions.
- You chime in knowingly, almost authoritatively, when your city comes up in conversation.
- You often consider what may have been different (or better) if you’d gone.
There is an episode of Star Trek (…bear with me) in which the Enterprise stumbles into an unknown corner of universe and finds itself faced with hundreds of identical Enterprise ships containing identical crews. The plot is based on the Everett interpretation theory which states everything that physically can happen actually does, and each of the different ships represent what could have been for the crew. After a slight scuffle, the crew, as well as the viewer, come away from the episode relieved they are not steering the ill-fated ship in the variation of universe overrun by the Borg.
While I in no way feel that I have dodged any such bullets by not moving when I’d planned, it’s important to appraise what you may have left behind if you’d taken another path. Believing you’ve somehow missed out on something greater is easy, but perhaps where you are right now is pretty high on the list of best-case scenarios.
I was recently able to spend a long weekend with friends in Portland – it was incredible. Portland Downtown, as well as the Pearl District, is such a great mix of industry, greenery, and grunge. In addition to our time in the city, we also spent a day on the Willamette river and made a trip to Multnomah falls. I begin so many vacations with absurdly ambitious itineraries, however, we somehow managed to hit everything on our list and more. It was the perfect trip and Portland may be my new favorite city.
The best part: My travel companions. All friends from Salt Lake City that I’ve gotten to know and grow close to since graduating from college – one especially.