I am committed to living in Australia. Melbourne quickly became my home sometime in 2013 and I’ve never looked back. But I’d be lying if I said I never think about what life would have been like if 1) I had never met Jack and 2) if Jack and I had settled in the US instead of Melbourne. We talk about it a lot and the consensus is that we would have ended up in New York City. It’s where I lived before him and where we met and courted and fell in love and got engaged and spent most of our honeymoon. The city seems like the right place to call “home”.
We went to Portland for the first time recently though and now New York City has some competition for the title of Would-be-home.
One thing we loved about Portland is that none of the locals understood why we were there. They can’t grasp why or how their small, unique city became critically acclaimed, a must-see, a triumph! You then mention the show Portlandia and they’ll school you by saying those are all jokes. And they are, of course. The city is not quite how it’s portrayed in the brilliant TV show but, let me tell you, the hype is real.
Portland isn’t New York City, but it does have it all. It boasts a small city atmosphere with big city opportunities. It’s got ridiculously good restaurants, creative food concepts happening all over, opportunities for adventurous day trips and, best of all, a community feel that inspires personal projects and creative endeavours to become successful. The music scene is cool (hello, Washing High School), locally made brands are everywhere (Danner, Tanner Goods) and the coffee culture is taken seriously (I love you, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Heart Coffee).
Portland is not for everyone, of course, but it might just be for us.