Touch down. A road trip of discovery, permaculture, and long hair has begun.
I’ve just landed in Boston and have been reunited with my brother after many months apart. He and his fiancee Amy were kind enough to drive out from New Hampshire to pick me up at Logan airport, and tomorrow we’ll have a full day to catch up, as I try to get a bit of shut eye and prepare for the long hours ahead on the road. It’s exciting as to get a feel for my little brother’s grown up life as a resident hall director at UNH. Tomorrow it’s supposed to 74 degrees and sunny – combine that with a frisbee and a college quad just reaching the peak of its autumn splendor – it’s looking like tomorrow is going to be a pretty great day.
Prior to touching down on my native East Coast soil, I just came from a remarkable and emotional month and a half living in the incredible city of Portland, OR. I had initially signed up for an urban farming internship there through WWOOF, and thus had originally planned on being in the area through to December. Despite things not working out on the “farm” (you can read my review when I post it if you’d like further details – I’ll be sure to add a link), I have to say, I fell in love with Portland in the few short weeks I was there. From the permaculture class I got to take at Tabor Tilth, the urban garden oasis of local permaculture legend Connie Van Dyke, to the 30 day Hot Yoga challenge I completed at Hot Yoga for Life, I found my time in Portland to be absolutely chock full of good memories, good people, and a feeling of meaning and presence.
The city is brilliantly designed, full of bike lanes and open green spaces, and the people there seem keen on keeping it green and friendly. For whatever reason, I found that community seemed to spontaneously generate itself during my time in Portland. More than any other place I’ve lived or traveled, I found that my conversations with people at cafes and at the yoga studio often germinated into longer talks and real relationships. I will certainly miss the abundant trees and tall sunflowers, the sprawling gardens and clean cut parks, and the long bike rides from North to South, watching as the sun pressed its golden lips to the Willamette – but my heart feels a very real tug towards the people that I met and the friends that I made during my time in Portland.
Leaving Portland has made me realize (once again) that there is no substitute for finding real and deep connections with people. Combine that with a verdant backdrop, where nature is in an integral part of neighborhoods and communities, and it’s hard to go wrong (and perhaps the two go hand in hand?). One thing that stood out especially to me in Portland: I really liked that no one seemed to be phased by the rain. It was as if there was a communal acceptance of the rain as a part of life, and it could be felt in the air as I biked around. I often could only laugh when I got caught out on my bike in the rain, as my wheels plucked up vast puddles from the asphalt, and spun them up in cold streams to thoroughly drench my raggedy jeans.
There is so much more to reminisce about. I’ll be doing my best to strike a good balance between personal reflections, permacultural learnings, and generally humorous happenings as I post in the next few days and weeks – so if I sway too far in one direction, drop me a line, and I’ll try to bring things back into balance.
More pictures and videos to come. If you’re here reading, take a sec, and say hello!