Recently, one of my best friends emailed me for a favor. A friend of hers (and somewhat mutual friend of ours) was moving to Seattle, and she wanted me to reach out to her and meet up sometime when she got to town. Naturally, I was kind of excited about the idea of a Chattanooga friend moving here, and we had been in the same small circle back in the day even though we hadn’t been extremely close.
Unfortunately, I have a fairly busy schedule during the week, and she got a job working weekends, so we haven’t been able to connect. We’ve talked a little on Facebook, but we haven’t found a good time where we’re both available for coffee or drinks. This weekend, I was on Facebook and noticed her status announcing she was moving back to Chattanooga. My first reaction was an internal smirk, because she has been here maybe three months and is already throwing in the towel. My second reaction was a twinge of jealousy, because it must be nice to just ‘decide’ you’re done and go back to everyone and everything you’ve loved and missed. I remember when I left, all my good (and best) friends telling me that I would come back, that they didn’t think I would last out here. I didn’t stay to spite anyone, and we all know it hasn’t been the easiest journey out here, but I made a choice to make a change and I respect change.
She isn’t the first person I know to move from Tennessee to Seattle, and then move back after barely giving it a shot. Which makes me wonder what they’re not seeing in this amazing city. One of those people even moved here in the summer, one of the best times to live in the Pacific Northwest, and chose to leave after a few months. So today, I have been inspired to list five reasons why Seattle is the Best Place to Live:
Reason One: The rain.
Oh, you don’t agree? Does the rain depress you? Well, it’s actually one of my favorite reasons to live here. The rain is soothing, like a comfortable blanket and your favorite movie (of all time) on the couch when you’re sick. It’s also a dependable companion, smells awesome, and washes the pee off the sidewalk in Pioneer Square. It’s true, I am often wearing moccasin shoes and I am often cursing that fact, but I couldn’t imagine my life without the drizzle. Fun Fact: Annually, it rains more in Miami. Just sayin’.
Reason Two: The proximity to beaches and mountains.
I am not a beach person, but I do know of several beaches within a fifteen minute radius of where I live. When the sun is out, forget trying to get to any of them, because they’ll be packed with people soaking up every last inch. More power to them, because although the sun is not as rare of an occurance as people like to joke, a few hours catching some rays improves anyone’s mood. The mountains are a bit farther out, but within an hour, you can probably be pretty deep into some park or trail. My boyfriend and I have taken to hiking on Saturday mornings, and we can get up and accomplish this, while making it home by 11am to ‘start’ the rest of our day. It feels awesome.
Reason Three: The size.
Compared to many cities, Seattle is tiny. I love this because I still get the ‘city’ vibe, but I feel fairly safe walking through downtown late at night. I can also walk just about anywhere I would want to go (except the Interbay Whole Foods), and it’s awesome. After living in the actual city for a year now, I can’t imagine ever living somewhere that requires me to drive my car on a regular basis. For five years, I lived in Auburn, Kent or Puyallup (30-40 minutes south of here), and I never ever will again. I have only driven my car once in the last 4 weeks, and it’s extremely liberating.
Reason Four: It’s a ‘Blue’ State.
Now, this might not be a reason for everyone, and I understand that. After living in Tennessee for six years, I saw/heard a lot of things I don’t agree with. It’s hard for me to explain this, without calling out a group of my friends (and people I respect), so I will just say that I am extremely thankful Washington is mainly a liberal state. People aren’t always super nice here, but they aren’t assholes either, and I probably teeter on the edge of both on a daily basis. While politics aren’t the reason I chose to move here, I feel a little more free residing in a place where the majority feels similar about things that matter. Before you ask, yes, I do vote.
Reason Five: The ‘culture’.
This should obviously be a reason, because it’s a big one. Seattle is so diverse and downright strange at times, but it’s one of my favorite things about it. Portland has the reputation for being really oddball (which I agree with and love also), but Seattle always seems to be just on the brink of that. I am interested in everything, and here, I can meet ten different people who do ten different things that I think are awesome. I have always been drawn to jobs in an artistic environment, and Seattle has no shortage of those. Art, technology, the environment-it’s everywhere and people are so damn passionate about what they do. On the other side, I love the hippies at the Folklife Festival (which happens to be this weekend), and the naked bike riders at the Summer Solstice celebrating summer. People are always doing something, celebrating something, protesting something, or flash mobbing downtown. On any given weekend, we can walk down to the Market and something is happening around us.
I am obviously a Pacific Northwest girl all the way around, and I have no shortage of reasons why this is the best place to be. It kind of bums me out when people don’t appreciate it or don’t understand it, but I guess: to each their own.
Woo, it’s Wednesday!