Sunday Scribblings – Why I live Where I live

May 1, 2006 | Life in Progress

My friend Laini started Sunday Scribblings with her friend Megg and I thought I’d participate this week as I couldn’t resist the prompt: Why I live Where I Live.

oh my. portland, oregon. just before graduating from college my friend karen and i took a roadtrip from tallahassee, florida to seattle, washington. over 3000 miles of hostels, exploring new cities, and adventures. i had never been west of dallas, texas so the world truely opened up and showed it’s beauty to me during our 4 week journey. we were 2 girls, on the edge of college graduation, exploring our nation, it’s cities, and it’s truth, in search of our own path, our own truth, and a place we could possibly call home. i knew there was a world outside of florida and i wanted to discover it, feels it’s presence, and skip to it’s beat.

the moment we arrived on the West Coast, i felt intrigued, overwhelmed, and connected. it was a different world, with all of it’s beauty, hills, coastal highways high above the sea, and hippies everywhere! San Francisco was our first West Coast stop, then upward to Portland, where we stayed for a mere 18 hours. It was Summer. Portland was at it’s very best with it’s blanket of roses, charming cottages everywhere, views of the mountains, waterfront downtown, parks everywhere, open markerts, lots of dogs, open cafes with outdoor seating, funky people driving old volvos, a lively downtown, and a liberal mindset.

i had never been to europe at the time, but i imagined Portland to be very much like a european city to me. i was very, very in love with it. so much so that i felt at Home. and now that i’ve been to europe, portland still reminds me of any european city where you’d find people riding their bikes, or having sidewalk dinners and beers, or hopping on the light-rail to go downtown, or selling their art at the markets.

after the big roadtrip out west, i decided i would go back to florida, graduate from college, save my money for one year, and then move to Portland, all alone, but a girl following her heart. that is exactly what i did 7 years ago and it’s been one of those decisions that changed the course of my life, in a grand, and spectacular way. lucky for me, i met john that year in florida while i was saving my cash, and convinced him to come with me to a city he had never seen before. and like me, he loved it from the moment he arrived.

Portland has a strict urban growth boundary line, so you can drive 20 minutes in any direction and be out of the city and into wine country, hiking trails, farmland. there is no sprawl here. the beauty of the city’s surrounding natural land is preserved. i could go on and on about why i live here. john says i’d make a great tourist guide for the city, but the truth is this city is a great fit for us, even with all the rain. my heart, my spirit, my dreams, all grew up here. and i will always think of it fondly and consider it Home.

I’m posting some of my favorite portland pics to go along with my scribbling. enjoy.

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (23 comments)
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  2. shoofly

    i would love to visit portland someday…seems like such a magical place!

  3. alena

    oh kelly- these pics make me so nostalgic! i wish you were staying there bc andrew and i are considering moving back next year! oh well-im sure we will see each other when you visit.

    by the way- i was doing to book layout yesterday with my editor and all three of your projects got 3 full spreads !! (2 pages each). we kept coming up with more and more things to write about bc they were so detailed and lovingly made.

  4. karen

    it’s amazing that that trip still resonates in our lives all these years later! i’m so glad we did it and that we’ve both embarked on the paths that we’ve chosen. i loved my life in austin but now am starting to feel my new life in NYC bloom and am loving it here! been feeling very much lately that life is such a wonderful, exciting adventure and am thankful all the time for the amazing, wonderful fellow travelers that i get to share the journey with.

  5. vicci

    Love the photos…love the post…I’ll have to visit Portland someday…

  6. paris parfait

    Great story and wonderful photos! It’s nice that you followed your dream and made it happen!

  7. Sky

    what a great post and lovely pics. i am just around the corner in the seattle area and just as in love with this part of the country as you are! originally from the south, i have never looked back…friends are all that i miss. this part of the country is truly the most beautiful area of the usa, in my opinion, except for new england. the harsh winters there, however, make this area much more attractive comparatively speaking. and the oregon coast south to big sur is the most beautiful coastline in the country!

    we are so lucky to live in the pacific northwest!

  8. Stephanie

    I’m so glad you left a comment on my blog, so I could visit here! I too love Portland (I grew up in Vancouver, but now live in Salem). Isn’t it just the most fabulous city?

    Great photos! Great post!

  9. Misty Mawn

    What a beautiful post! You look so happy! Your pictures are just so lovely!!!

    See you in Portland in October!

  10. andrea

    These photos were fantastic! I am so glad your participated this week. The PNW is awesome. I was born here and will die here.
    Great post!

  11. Judy Wise

    I came to Portland on vacation from Arizona in 1972 and moved here less than a month later. I have never looked back. I love the fertile soil, open minds, tender climate. And land planning! Thanks for a great post.

  12. Rozanne

    Those are some great pix of Portland and environs. They really capture all the things I love about PDX! That pic of you on the mountain really makes me antsy for the summer hiking season! Mt. Hooooooooooooood!

  13. justjohanna

    love that you shared those wonderful photos of you falling in love with portland. i definitely am adding it to my wish list of places to visit. i’ll have to find an excuse to go.

  14. melba

    What a wonderful, inspiring story. So glad you followed your heart.

  15. Clare Jane

    You’re making me so much more homesick than I am already. Rich and I miss the Pacific NW so very much and I keep looking for ways to find pieces of it here in NYC – tulips, cherry blossoms, tulips, tulips, tulips…

  16. Laini Taylor

    Kelly, between the two of us we ARE a tourist board! I’m a total recruiter for Portland. I LOVE your photos — such a varied and beautiful picture of our fabulous city. I loved hearing more about your trek here, too, and how you fell in love at first sight as well!

  17. Anonymous

    oh man, between you and Laini– I am HOOKED!

    Must go to portland!


  18. Anny

    This could be a tourist brochure! Complete with beautiful, enticing photos. Sounds awesome ;0)

  19. britt

    why oh why do i live in atlanta? 🙂 yes kelly after seeing the pacific northwest, i am hooked, almost addicted to it…and can’t wait to go back

  20. Joy Eliz

    This is fantastic!
    How brave!
    Portland looks so beautiful from your pictures and description!

  21. Susannah

    well you’ve definitely sold it to me – i’m moving to Portland 🙂
    thanks for your kind comments on my site, Kellyrae – glad to have found you – your artwork is just incredible

  22. Teresa

    Portland is an awesome city, when we lived in Eugene Oregon it kinda had that same appeal, but Portland sounds much better. I would love to go explore it better next time we go, you make it sound terribly fun!! Last time I was there I was at a Coffee Fest and didn’t have much time to explore. Can’t wait for a quick summer trip!! Thanks for sharing.

  23. Gretchen

    Great post. Being a native Oregonian, sometimes I’m puzzled as to why others are so drawn to Portland – so it is nice to hear another perspective. Sometimes I get so used to the wonderfulness that is Portland that maybe I take it for granted.


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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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