Portland // One Year Later

I snapped this photo last Friday down by the waterfront on a gorgeous summer night here in Portland and it seemed fitting to share it today, as I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this week on the past year in my new city. It’s hard to believe that a year ago this month, Cameron and I had just made the move to Portland from Tahoe. In a way, it feels like that time has flown by, yet  SO MUCH has happened over the past twelve months that it’s kind of crazy to think that it’s only been a year!

Coming here was a big transition, especially for me. Unlike Cam, I didn’t grow up here and although I had visited many times, knowing that you’ve moved to a place that you’ll likely live for the rest of your life is a little overwhelming. My attitude towards this move was pretty different from other places we’ve lived as this was the place we planned to settle down, and so it was important to me to work on creating my own roots here right from the beginning. At this time last year, Cam and I were living with his parents, and we had just signed our lease for our apartment downtown. I didn’t know my way around the city and I didn’t know anyone here outside of Cam’s family. However, I knew if I was going to be happy here, I really needed to start making my own connections and make Portland my home. This was somewhat of a daunting task considering that I work from home, but looking back over the past year, I feel so incredibly thankful for the way things have worked out.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot this week because Cam has been traveling for work and I’ve been here in Portland by myself for the last ten days. Ugh. As much as it’s tough for me when he travels, the great thing is that I’ve literally had plans with friends every single day that he’s been gone. This has not only helped to make his absence much more bearable, but it’s also made me realize just how much I have really made Portland my home over the past twelve months and that makes me happy.

I never could have predicted what an incredible tool that this little blog would be for me when I moved here, but it has been such an amazing platform for me to meet so many wonderful people here in Portland that I now consider my really close friends. Plus, it’s provided me with some really awesome opportunities to connect with the larger community and participate in some fun events such as Feast (which I am participating in again this year and I’m SO EXCITED about it – stay tuned for more details on that!), Portland Fashion Week, and many other local events (that usually involve delicious food, ha). Portland Bloggers has been a fantastic resource and such a great way to meet people, and I’m just still amazed how blogging really does have the ability to connect people!

And although blogging has been great, it’s definitely not the only way I’ve been able to meet people here in Portland. I have a handful of girlfriends here that I’ve connected with through the most random ways; some are people from my past that I’ve reconnected with because we’re both living here now whereas others are people that I’ve been introduced to via email through mutual friends because we both live in Portland. I’ve also connected with friends through Cam as well, and it’s just been really cool all the serendipitous ways that I’ve gotten to know people over the past year.

I feel incredibly blessed to have built a really strong network of friends here in such a short amount of time, and I’m excited to watch these relationships grow as time goes on. But in addition to just getting know so many people, it’s also been really awesome to reflect on how Cam and I have really gotten to know Portland over the past year and how much it’s really become home to us. Although my husband is from the Portland-area, he grew up out in the suburbs and never lived in city before we moved back here last summer. He also left Oregon when he was 18 to go to college and had been living away for the past eight years, during which time, the city has changed a lot. We’ve had a lot of fun discovering it together, and house-hunting really forced us to get to know a wide variety of different neighborhoods. It’s still quite surreal to me that we actually bought a house here in Portland, but I’m so happy that this is where we put down roots in our first home.

Even though it’s been a year, I feel like my infatuation with this place still hasn’t worn off…and I hope it never does. There are so many things about Portland that make it an awesome place to live, yet I’m still discovering new things to appreciate about this city all the time. Whether it’s taking Lola for a walk and seeing beautiful roses in someone’s yard or discovering a new restaurant or catching a glimpse of Mt. Hood as I’m driving over one of the bridges, I am constantly being reminded of how awesome it is to live here. Plus, from the mountains to the Gorge to wine country to the coast, there are so many beautiful areas that are just a short drive from the city, and I’ve really been enjoying discovering those things as well. As we venture into this next stage of life, I couldn’t be more excited that we get to raise a family here in Portland!

Thanks for enduring this long, sappy post but I couldn’t resist, cheers to one year in PDX!