Monday, August 29, 2011

Why Seattle?

I first visited Seattle for a conference (as many people do) about 12 years ago.  It was love at first sight.  I considered moving here and even looked at jobs, but the move did not make sense at that point in my career and life.

Ten years later, my partner and I started contemplating a move... somewhere.  We needed a change of scenery, and I needed to shake up my life.  Life was too comfortable.  I was stagnating.  We both wanted to live in a bigger city, and so we started looking around.  A visit to Chicago made it an early frontrunner, but the winters are so harsh.  DC was considered as an easy move, but vetoed by the partner.  I love Austin, but it is too hot for him.  We trained our eyes on the northwest, first thinking of San Francisco, but the cost of living scared us.  Then we decided to go further north for a visit.  First we went to Portland.  We absolutely loved it.  It is a cool city with amazing public transportation.  Public transportation is important to both of us.  Portland took the lead.  We asked Portlanders what they thought of Seattle and nobody had a bad thing to say.  They all said that if they did not live in Portland, they would live in Seattle. 

Next we took the train to Seattle.  Great train ride, by the way.  Seattle has a much bigger city feel (as Portlanders had said).  After a couple of days, we were both in love with the place.  It had the big city vibe, but was not too big.  The scenery was fantastic.  There was a great food and bar scene, lots of culture, and lots of stuff to do outdoors nearby.  Portland had most of this, but it was a little too much like the place we were leaving.  The vibe here was friendly and funky and liberal and fun.  We began to plot our move.  We had no idea that it would take more than a year to make it happen.  We tried to be very careful and methodical about it, but in the end we could wait no longer and just picked a date and moved.

We had an awesome journey across the country in a car.  We did not exactly meander, but we took some extra time to see some sights like Graceland and Boulder.  We had a fun night in Ellensburg and found a great brewery (Iron Horse is carried in several Seattle bars).  On our final day of the jouney, we drove through the dramatic Snoqualmie Pass and marveled at the spectacular beauty.  We marveled at the snow in May, without knowing we could still see it in August.  We marveled at more spectacular beauty as we drove across Lake Washington.  When we first drove into the city under that "Gateway to the Pacific" sign engraved above the highway, we were more excited than we had been in years.  What crazy new adventures awaited us in this beautiful city?

I guess we will find out.

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