So Long (for now), Washington

After more than seven incredible years in the Evergreen State, we’ve set out on a new adventure and moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming.

I was looking back at my post from when we moved from Ohio to Washington in 2015 and loved revisiting some of the things we were excited about experiencing in the Pacific Northwest.

And boy did we ever make the most of the last seven and a half years! We explored the west coast of the U.S., British Columbia, and Alberta, we took advantage of direct flights to Japan, Iceland, Hawaii, Alaska and Belize, and we started a new tradition of taking a motorcycle trip for my birthday each year.

We explored 21 new national parks, tried out snowshowing, paddleboarding, and seaplaning, visited the tulip fields and San Juan islands, developed a love of hiking, attended concerts and festivals, learned about indigenous culture, journeyed along the Gorge, and rekindled our love, care, and tending of the outdoors.

We learned how to pronounce Puyallup, navigated public transportation, went hunting for deer, bear and cougars, and never grew tired of seeing ‘the mountain.’ We hosted countless family members and friends who we introduced to the Pacific Northwest, and we made some lifelong Washingtonian friends.

We also ate our weight in seafood, took our first cooking class, learned how to shuck oysters, discovered all the different varieties of salmon, visited Washington wine country, and got to see how hops are grown. We made some leaps forward in our careers, I earned my master’s degree, and we spent a lot of time reflecting on what’s important to us and what we want out of life.

As is always the case, our time here wasn’t all sunshine and roses. We were 2,500 miles away from our families for 18 months throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to say good-bye to our beloved fur baby Seppy, my incredible grandpa, and more aunts, uncles and family friends than I would like to count.

We struggled with the ‘Seattle freeze,’ bemoaned the horrible traffic, long commutes, and excessive garbage marring the otherwise beautiful landscape, and we remain baffled at how few people will stop to help those who are in an accident or broken down along the side of the road. And can we talk about the lack of public bathrooms across this state?

These are just a few things that come to mind when I sit with the bittersweet feeling of leaving Washington behind. There are countless other memories that I know will continue to pop up for the rest of my life. And who knows – maybe we will find ourselves back in Washington someday. We may not have become true mossbacks, but there’s surely a small green culture that’s taken permanent root on my heart.

For now, I’m so excited to have arrived in Cheyenne, Wyoming and can’t wait for the opportunity to explore an entirely new area of the country. I’ve signed up for all of the tourism bureau emails, started following businesses and news outlets on social media, and picked up my 2022 Wyoming Travel Guide. I don’t even know where to begin on all of the surrounding states and near-ish Canadian provinces – we have so much to learn and in the process I’m sure my bucket list will grow exponetially.

I know these first few weeks and months here will fly by – I’m really looking forward to experiencing all four seasons again, being able to drive back to Ohio for extended stays, meeting new friends, unpacking our household (whenever the truck finally arrives!), and making our new place feel like home.

I also know not everything will go according to plan, and I will try to embrace that. As Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard likes to say, “It’s not an adventure until something goes wrong.” I’m excited to be setting out on our new adventure and can’t wait to see where life takes us next.

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