Personal Stories

Washington Photo Journal: 6 Weird & Wonderful Things I’ll Miss

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As I write this, I’m sitting in a chair in the sky, winging my way from Seattle to Detroit on the way to New Orleans. That is to say: as I write this, I’ve officially begun the seven-month journey Mr. V and I are taking through the eastern part of the U.S., and Europe. It has begun!

At the same time our trip has begun, our time in Seattle has (temporarily) ended. We’ve spent the last few days saying goodbye to friends and family, packing our belongings (over and over, trying to make it all fit!), and preparing ourselves to leave the place where ‘we’ began.

I’m going to miss Seattle, and Washington; I can only imagine how Mr. V feels, having grown up there. There are so many strange and wonderful things that drew me to move to Seattle, and which I likely won’t find all in one place again.

While the clouds float by beneath the wings of this plane, I’m thinking back on a few of those things you might be surprised to know I’m really going to miss about Washington.

My Morning View

Seattle Bucket List Hero

If you’ve followed me on Instagram for a few years, you know I was kinda obsessed with the view from Mr. V’s and my apartment; we had a penthouse apartment with an incredible view of Seattle’s most iconic sight.

Having the Space Needle starring front and center in every sunrise photo I took definitely made it easier to get up each morning!

Friends & Family

This is a no-brainer; some of the best people I know all call Seattle home, and it’s really hard to say goodbye for even a short time.

Whether it’s Mr. V’s family who have so warmly welcomed me into their hearts and homes, the friends from London who joined me in Seattle (quite a coalition), or others I’ve met/re-met while living there… there are some amazing folks in Seattle if you ever need anyone to hang out with!

The Clouds in the Trees

If you’ve never seen the way the misty clouds cling to Douglass Firs when the weather moves through the Olympics or Cascades, you’ve never seen the Pacific Northwest in her true colors. Steely grey, flat white, and deep, verdant green combine in a palette that inspired a million Instagrams.

How I Can’t Pronounce Some Words

I will admit: I still struggle to pronounce “Puyallup” (pew-all-up, not poo-y’all-up) and “Sequim” (skwim, not see-kwim). I also love the words and names that still cover much of the Puget Sound region belong to those who called this place home, long before my ancestors even dreamed of coming to America.

Seattle! Sounders!

One of my leading factors in the decision to move to Seattle was the chance to ‘become’ a Sounders fan. Now, I have a scarf and a jersey (in storage). I’ve bought the six-match pack. I’ve figured out which sections I like to sit in, and I’ve cheered from the ECS (Emerald City Supporters) section. I left England to come to Seattle, and I wanted a ‘proper football’ team while I lived here. I got one.

A Place to Call My Own

For those travelers reading, or those you follow on social media, who travel full time: I salute you. The prospect of seven months of intermittent full-time travel (mostly two or three week stays in different destinations) is exhilarating, to be sure.

It’s also a bit stressful for my home-body side. Like, I’m not going to have my own pillow for the next seven months. I’ll be using other people’s showers for the next seven months. If you think it’s glamorous, it’s only because you’re following those travelers who stay at the luxury hotels all the time! Me? I am excited to travel and equally excited to come back to the U.S. and find a new place to call home.

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All of these things are definitely worth missing, but there are also a few things I really won’t miss. Seattle is a great place to live, but it’s not perfect. I’m hoping these things improve by the time I next visit.

  • The cost of living. I know it’s a pipe dream to assume that the cost of living will ever go down when so many big tech companies call Seattle home. That said, I’m definitely not going to miss paying so much for rent. In fact, the cost of living was part of what inspired this trip – we’re paying basically the same price to travel for seven months as we would have spent living in Seattle!
  • Homelessness. It’s weird to comment on a social problem in a travel post, right? Not really; most travelers I’ve met who are visiting Seattle comment on the massive homelessness problem in the city, and all I can do is shake my head, agree, and look embarrassed. Seattle has a major issue with homelessness, panhandling, and street drug use, and it needs to improve. I want to be proud to visit Seattle and call it home again someday.
  • The Seattle Freeze. If you’ve never heard of the Seattle Freeze, consider yourself lucky. Seattleites are generally a really friendly bunch, but it’s weirdly tough to make friends there. In fact, with the exception of Mr. V and my friend Marissa from Postcards To Seattle, I can’t think of many other ‘local’ friends; all of my friends ended up being fellow transplants/”expats.” Dear Seattle people: be friendlier! Everyone loves living there, so why can’t we all be BFFs?!

With that, it’s time to ‘sign off’ and ‘say goodbye’ to Seattle. I’ll be back in a few months, weary from the road, but for now, it’s time to tuck these bittersweet feelings into my back pocket, adjust the straps of my backpack, and look toward the open road ahead.

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I was born on the East Coast and currently live in the Midwest – but my heart will always be out West. I lived for 15 years in Alaska, as well as four years each in California and Washington. I share travel resources and stories based on my personal experience and knowledge.

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