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Travel Reviews

Portland Rocks My Socks Off

Happy Friday, Internet friends! When I was in St. Louis for FinCon, I was asked the same question over and over, “How are you liking Portland?” Which makes sense, as I haven’t really discussed my first few months of Oregonian status yet. So here’s the thing…

I love it here. For a variety of reasons, Portland is everything we’ve ever wanted…almost. But I’ll get to that in a bit.

Why I love Portland:

#1. Everyone is super laid back and nice. People in Cleveland had a tendency to be miserable and mean. Which makes sense if you follow the sports teams. Everyone here seems chipper and relaxed. And why not? The work vibe is so chill around here. This is not a city of workaholics.

Also, despite the fact that Portland is not very diverse (which is really odd), Portlanders are more accepting than Clevelanders and Ohioans in general. I have yet to hear a racist comment. This was not the case in the Midwest.

Note to ignorant people: Just because we are both white does not mean we’re both assholes. Keep your black/Arab/Indian/Mexican jokes to yourself. Or better yet, educate yourself, you sound really stupid.

#2. The food scene rocks my socks off. Don’t get me wrong, Cleveland has some great eats. But Portland has more. Our favorite places so far are Baan Thai, Nostrana, HotlipsLaurelhurst Market (our anniversary dinner place!) and Nicholas. Om freaking nom. I feel like we could live here for 10 years without experiencing all the awesome food.

Our “food to try” list is ridiculous already, but feel free to tell me your favorite Portland eats. Lists can get longer.

#3. Our work lives are SO much better. For me, this is because I switched to freelancing (which I love) from public accounting (which I hated). I could have been just as happy with work in Ohio had I made the switch then.

Steve enjoys his job much more here. While it is the same line of work, he receives a level of respect he didn’t get in Cleveland. He also gets paid what he’s worth instead of being shorted at every turn by shady management. And he’s kicking ass because he’s awesome.

#4. I am right next to everything and its mom. There are over 40 restaurants within a third of a mile of my apartment. There is a mall 15 blocks away. Two grocery stores within a few blocks. Bank within a few blocks. We’re right next to the bus line as well as the train. My life has never been so convenient. And I’m paying less overall for housing than I did in my old suburb in Cleveland.

From what I understand, I live in a “ritzy” neighborhood. Which is hilarious to someone living in a 400 sq. ft. apartment without furniture. It is safe and yet right next to everything. Dig it.

#5. Everyone is weird and I love it. I’m an awkward 5’10” pale, neurotic ginger, so “weird” is not a new label for me. In Portland, everyone is weird. I may actually be one of the normal ones now.

#6. It’s a big city, but it doesn’t feel like it. The “bad” part of Portland is a laugh compared to Cleveland. No one writes songs about the scary parts of Portland…

The traffic isn’t bad at all, I feel super safe, and people aren’t dicks. Big city with small town feel? Sold!

#7. Working full-time online is not something that causes confusion. It is very normal here to work nontraditional jobs. Portland isn’t really a climb-the-corporate-ladder type of city. It’s more like make-enough-to-drink-good-beer-and-just-enjoy-life type of city. It’s awesome.

Overall, we really, REALLY like Portland. Is it our “forever” place? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s definitely our “right now” place.

I still have some wandering to do before I figure out my forever place. I want to live outside of the United States for a couple years and I may want to bounce around to other states as well. I’m going to be talking about my five year plan (or lack thereof — oh, suspense!) next week, but I’m not ready to settle down yet.

So obviously, Portland is missing one thing — my family. Which sucks, as I’m very close to my family. Will I end up moving closer to them? I’m not sure yet. Only time will tell. I don’t even know where I’ll be a year from now, so I’m not going to pretend I know what I’m doing.

We’re not really worried about figuring out a long term plan until we decide to start making babies. And then we have a good five years after that before we actually need to stay in one place (when the adorable kiddo starts school). Or maybe not. Are there any readers with kids who travel long term and haven’t settled down with school aged children?

I’m getting off track. Let’s recap the important parts of this post:

  • Portland rocks.
  • I love food.
  • Move to Portland and eat with me.

Thank your deity of choice it’s Friday, amirite? What are you doing this weekend?

[Image from BuzzFeed]

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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