Out of all the places that I could have used my JetBlue voucher on, I chose Portland. Why? It just seemed like an interesting place to visit. I booked my flight to get a hands-on experience of this well-talked about city. Keep reading below for my thoughts on it all!
Prior to actually being in Portland, I had mapped out places that I wanted to visit including but not limited to Powell's Books,
Pretty & Cute,
Nike Factory Outlet,
Bamboo Sushi, and
Nong's Khao Man Gai. Unfortunately, I did not end up going to any of those places because of the major exhaustion that overcame me throughout my stay and those places ended up in the back burner.
For whatever reason, I envisioned Portland to be somewhat similar to Seattle. Upon getting to Portland and actually walking around downtown, I felt a bit scared and confused. Seattle was absolutely spotless and you could walk late at night without any worrying of being mugged. Security was present even at the latest of hours to monitor parked cars and potential crime. Portland was a whole different story. It reminded me so much of San Francisco and parts of Los Angeles. I felt like I had to carry something to help defend myself in case I was to be of in any danger.
I began to read up on the city and realized why it was like that and how it has gotten better over the years. It is still a developing city and still needs love and care. Most of the employees that I have met during my stay have told me that more tourists have come to visit expecting the same thing that I had. Was it because of "Portlandia" or was it because they thought it really was land of coffee and cool hipsters? Regardless of it all, my fear dissipated throughout my stay and I learned to not be prejudice about the way the city looked. No matter how different it looked from what I had envisioned it to be, there were parts of Portland that made me wish California had.
The TriMet, for an example, is by far the best public transportation system that I have ever taken. Not only is it well kept (literally not a sign of graffiti anywhere), but it is absolutely easy to use. You have four colored lines and you take which ever one you need to get to where you need to go. There are literally stations everywhere and some are equipped with flat screen TVs to tell you when the next train will be available. Aside from the train, the ticket you purchase for the train can be used on any TriMet bus. Although I never needed to take the bus anywhere, I assume it is just as well kept as the trains are.
Eating healthy is almost too easy to do. There are so many food options (I have a separate post on this later in the week so keep your eyes peeled) that you could never exhaust any meal plans. Nature is another thing that is amazing about Portland as the scenery is absolutely breath-taking. Whether you are traveling north or south of Portland, there is greenery everywhere. The air is clean, the tap water is clean, and even the water that you are given to drink at restaurants are freaking delicious and clean!
Portland has a sense of pride. While we stress over small trivial things in life, people in Portland genuinely love their life, their jobs, and the city. Although a lot of them have wished for more, they are quite content with what they have - something that I forget to think about because of the many "(first world) issues" that we go through. If you ever decide to go to Portland, throw away any prior thoughts you have of it. Just go and experience it all for yourself. It was an eye-opening experience for me and it has literally taught me quite a large life lesson.
Tune in every day of this week up until Thursday for my shopping, dining, and zoo experiences while in Portland!
*Disclaimer: I was not sponsored to write this post. None of the
businesses or brands above have asked me to write about these places. I
just wanted to share my experiences with everyone.*
To see more posts from my trip to Portland, check out this tag here.