This will be my second halloween in Washington, meaning I've officially been in the PNW for a year now! I get asked often how I like it out here and my honest response is that if it weren't for the traffic, I would love it! The rain is completely a drag when it goes on for weeks straight, but I think I can handle it as long as I have trips planned to the sunshine to break up the winter. I'm not really missing out on the snow as I can drive a couple hours away from my home to sled, skate, snowboard and pelt my husband with a snowball if I really want (game on babe).
What else have I done and learned this year in WA? Let's see if I can sum it up...:
- This first year, I've nannied for 3 adorable babies, photographed 11 weddings + multiple couples and seniors. I also began photographing portraits under an extremely talented portrait photographer in her (natural light) Seattle studio and have learned to enjoy the art of photographing women 1-1 in one small space.
- I've learned how hard it is to lose the clientele you've built for 6 years and then start your business over again in a new state. Still learning.
- I've learned that the Seattle Freeze is a real thing (look it up), but have luckily met just enough amazing others who've made up for them with kindness.
- I've hiked at least half of the weekends since we've been here, exploring from southern OR up to the northern-most point of WA. Realized what amazing support my husband is when I'm huffing and puffing uphill and he offers to carry my pack for me. <3
- Survived a record-breaking year of consecutive raining in Seattle from Oct. 2016-April 2017.
- Just how much I miss our families when we only see them 1-2x a year, but how generous our WA family has been, always treating us like their own kids.
- I've seen just about every ecosystem possible in this state, from the marine waters to the desert, conifer forests to the rain forests, grasslands, alpine lakes and more.
- I went glamping for the first time and loved it.
- Watched whales from the San Juan islands.
- Went in my first business (Amazon) and bar/mini golf (Flat Stick Pub) that allow all dogs in. So great!
- Have killed spiders just about every day so far.
- Learned that Starbucks are literally on every corner in this state and visit as few as possible because there are hundreds of amazing local shops with much better quality coffee.
- Have discovered Buy Nothing Groups which are the greatest community groups ever.
- Realized just how much grit us Yoopers have because the whole city shuts down when it snows a little (disclaimer: I've been countlessly reminded out here that their roads have hills and ours don't).
- To get out and meet people more than I think I want to to avoid repeating the loneliness I felt living in ND (#introvertprobs).
- How to be minimalist to fit only what I need into our tiny 1-bedroom apartment.
- Have learned to avoid driving during rush hour as much as possible to save my sanity and that you still need to add extra time to what the GPS tells you to get anywhere on time.
- Have grown to love how close I am in proximity to anywhere I want to be (top rated restaurants, major airport, easy shopping, big artist concerts, etc).
- That Beechers cheddar cheese is the BOMB DOT COM.
- Still feel the energizing powers of the mountains and lose myself in nature even though I'm surrounded by the beauty of it often.
As you can imagine, I have photos for days I can share with you from the past year, but it's Halloween and you should be eating candy and having fun so go on! Have a great one and I'll check back in another year!