My Washington Awakening
I have lived in Washington all my life. Born in Bellevue (20 minutes east of Seattle on a good day), surrounded by most of my family (north, south, east, and west), went to college in Seattle (Seattle Pacific University), and now living in West Seattle, I am a bonafide Washingtonian. I love this state. Within a few hours drive I can climb mountains, visit coves and beaches, discover historic sites and explore interesting museums, go to events in different cities, try delicious food from local restaurants. Yet in my 25 years I have been regrettably neglectful of those opportunities. It is not for want of trying, I have had important demands, the likes of work and school, and they have brought a lot of insights and discoveries I may not have otherwise experienced. But in terms of exploring the environment around me, when I am not occupied by those demands, is lacking. Recently I have been hyper conscious of the fact that in so many cities or events in Washington, I would be a new visitor though I am a native to the area. I want to change that, to be excited for all of the things I can experience right in my own back door and then actually experience them. To remember this, I have found a wonderful quote to live by:
And that was the day she decided to live more from intention and less from habit.
It is easy to feel compelled to attempt something, but be caught up in the norm of routine and habit. For me personally, whatever is the "usual" often takes precedence over my goals. The goal to wake up at 6:30 am to enjoy a slow morning gets slighted by my habit of hitting the snooze on my phone so what I thought was just a 5 minute snooze turns out to be a 45 minute pass out causing a cataclysmic stress bomb. And that is just one resistance to change. When I finally do wake up, I dream of only far off places and forget to give credit to this beautiful area around me. There is so much to be witnessed right here, and though there is absolutely nothing wrong with envisioning a trip to Jakarta or Melbourne, losing sight of your present environment cheats you of joy. So this post is a self reflective beckoning, a beseeching (sorry for the melodramatics), to seek adventure in the local habitat. The beautiful thing is it can be simple. Take a 10 minute walk down the street or endeavor a 3 hour drive to a part of the state you've never visited to, I don't know, maybe find an extraordinary tree? (I have more to say about this very real tree soon. Give another scroll or three down).
So recognizing the many possibilities, I am starting small, here are 10 things I want to do in Washington (and the Pacific Northwest) that I have never done before:
1. Attend the Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley
2. Ride in a hot air balloon in Woodinville
3.Island Hop- San Juan, Orcas, Camano, Whidbey, Vashon
5. Cascade Loop Road Trip
6. Visit the Northwest African American Museum
7. Visit Franklin Falls
9. Visit Palindaba Lavender Fields in Friday Harbor
10. Grape Smashing in Lake Chelan
Life is worth taking all matter of trips and adventures. We are not guaranteed forever on this earth so why not spend as much of it pursuing passions and things that bring us joy? I am awakened to a new prospect, that God has blessed me with air in my lungs and a hunger for change. So I will put my thoughts into actions and go get in that hot air balloon after I've smashed grapes with my feet and skied down a mountain with fresh lavender in my hands. I see you Washington, I see you. I'm very excited to share how these all go.