I grew up in the heart of San Francisco, a busy city where houses are stacked next to each other, cemented front yards are spiked with weeds growing in between the cracks, and rows of people are lined up at the stations to catch the bus or BART train. I’ve been on a mission to explore new cities around the world and discover the awe that we can all dive into. Nowadays, airlines do a great job in alluring the traveler with fare prices that cost less than 3 digits one way (yippeee!) Went up to Oregon recently and had a great time. I rarely do any research prior to my travels, that’s just the way I roll. I’m lazy when it comes to reading up on my destination and frankly, I like the element of surprise. I’ll see what I see when I get there. The homes in the Portland area where I stayed were NOT forced to be next to each other (a rare sight when you are from SF), the hot weather was bearable even though many warned me of the heat wave, and there were NO parking meters in the more remote parts. What, no parking meters? If you know SF, that is unheard of. There was actually endless amounts of parking and it was FREE. Again, when you are from San Francisco, that parking combination of available and free feels like a gold mine! There was nothing even close to the SF meter demands of 3-minutes-per-quarter. I was giddy walking and setting foot in the famous Powell’s bookstore. Oh, my love for books ballooned with joy when I saw the vast collection of all that paper print. [Insert heart emoji here]. Soon after, I took a nice long drive in the Cadillac Escalade that the rental car agency graciously gifted me at a super low rate (helps to be a manifester of things desired). It was an awesome three hour drive south to Bend, Oregon. Hung out in what seemed like an up-and-coming area with newer neighborhoods of straightedge architecture and rows of organic’ish yogurt and yoga spots. The flat landscape of tall trees, desert-like plains, and spiky-looking dry shrubs for miles on highway 97 was a serene view to take in. Drivers actually drove the speed limit calmly hence the lack (or more like absence) of road ragers. What, no road ragers? As always, I took a couple selfies along the route (need to have keepsakes and post on social media, right?) I’m not an outdoorsy person but I was aware of the endless trails, hikes, and roads available for exploration. Maybe next time. I still love San Francisco but I surely got a pleasant dose of Oregon during this trip.
Traveling to new places and exploring boundaries outside of our familiarity is definitely a great way to expand awe and possess a true appreciation of what is.
Yes, awe is my word of the day. Actually, it’s my word for life. I just had an aha moment: awe is the root word of awesome. No wonder I’m feeling good.