The West Coast Girl Finds Her Way


A little over a year ago, I started to get an undeniable West Coast itch.

I visited a dear friend of mine in San Diego for a long weekend. I hadn’t been back to California in many years.

After I landed we had lunch and Bloody Mary’s right on the beach, where the smell of salty fish greeted my nose like a long, lost friend. Then it was off to a different beach, a stunner at that.

It’s nearly impossible for me to explain what happens when one approaches the Pacific Ocean, but damnit I’ll try.

We parked the car on a residential street on top of a hill. I stepped out of the car, plucked my bathing suit out of my crack, then I stopped and stared.

There it was. Glistening in the distance, purposely drawing me into its majesty.

The sight left me speechless. So speechless that my friends thought I was insanely jet-lagged, when really I was just awestruck.

I hovered in a meditative state. My toes wiggled around the warm surface of the sand and my fingers dug deeper to feel the cool layer hiding beneath.

It was home. And after that day, it stayed with me forever.

But, this isn’t about finding my way back to California. This is about a finding a new way, a very different West Coast locale. One where neither of us has ever lived, one where neither of us has any family.

A place that is green inside and out. A place that is kooky with drool-worthy food. A place that’s got something casually awesome about it.

Portland, Oregon. 

At the end of next week Mr H. and I and our two pissed off cats will be traipsing across the country on a 30-hour drive.

Why? Because it was absolutely the right time for us to do it.

We visited Portland several years ago, and we have never been to any place in the world more beautiful.

Yes, it rains…a lot. But that rain brings a magical brightness to everything it touches, turning the world every exquisite shade of green imaginable.

Uprooting our lives can be seen as something to fear, a perilous force writhing with anxiety, stress, and discomfort.

The lengthy drive with two cats will be the ninth circle of Hell. The cozy routine will vanish from our lives. The faces and places we have come to know intimately will fade. The unknown will be downright scary at times.

Yet, we are choosing to embrace this turbulent change for the sake of growth and inspiration. All of the new—the land, the culture, the people—will only feed our creativity and make us stronger.

Besides, my home is wherever my husband is. And together, we can do anything.

36 thoughts on “The West Coast Girl Finds Her Way

  1. Very exciting, Britt. I haven’t been to Portland, but my husband’s sisters and their families live near L.A., so I’ve done the California thing. As an East Coast girl, born and bred, California (at least, the LA portion) was like a different world to me. I did like it, but I don’t think I could ever fit in.

    A lot of people love Portland, rain and all, and I am sure you will have a great time. I need my sun, at least one shot a day, and so I wouldn’t last out there. I hope you’ll post lots of great pictures so we get to see you in your new life!

    1. West Coast and East Coast are total opposites. But, California, especially LA, is its own little world. Bet you would love Portland, since the nature’s so awesome. And we’ll just traipse down to California if we need a sun shot. : )

  2. Hi Britt,

    If I couldn’t live in Seattle, I would move to Portland. It’s a great city full of creative energy. I am originally from Michigan, but fell in love with Seattle and the Pacific Northwest at first sight. Good luck with your move, and a safe journey to you.

    1. Hey, Naomi. I’ve never been to Seattle, but I’ve heard awesome things about it. Now I can explore the city whenever I want, though I’m sure Portland will keep me entertained. Very excited!

Speak your beautiful mind

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.