I recently returned from the most structurally unique trip of my life. Twelve days spent in the Pacific Northwest (Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver) included a weekend getaway with a hodgepodge of people to a new city, solo road tripping, meeting new mutual friends, adventuring with college buds who happened to be traveling in the same place at the same time, visiting old friends in a different country, and reconnecting with someone I sat next to at a conference one year ago.
It started when a group of comfortably old and completely new friends met in Portland, Oregon. (We hailed from all over the states - New York City, Atlanta, DC, Houston, and Austin.) My travel companions visited for a long weekend, and I remained a couple extra days by myself before driving up to Seattle, Washington.
The pace of life in Portland is slower than I'm used to, and I welcomed it wholeheartedly. While there, I didn't feel an impulse to photograph everything. In fact, I didn't document most things, and a few rather rainy days went by during which I didn't take my camera out at all. I'm grateful for the snaps I did get, but I'm also glad to have sweet memories preserved in my mind.
What I remember most about Portland is how a random bunch of people traveled really well together, how giddy I was about visiting the Kinfolk office, how I stayed at an Airbnb apartment while the hosts were there for the first time, how I'm more likely to engage in conversation with shopkeepers and locals when I wander around solo, and how freeing it is to travel without an agenda.