I have to admit that I have not traveled much in the United States, which is such a shame because there are such beautiful places to be seen without the need for a passport. I decided it was time to explore these places, which led me to my first trip to Seattle, Washington.
It has become a ritual for me to discuss my high-low-highs after each adventure. I learned this game from a dear friend on a trip to Ireland and I will never forget it. You are to choose a highlight of the trip, a low point, and another highlight (just to end on a positive note).Ever since, I have used it to reflect on moments, treasures, and my experiences to choose which ones impacted me the most. That’s what exploration is for anyways - for freedom, for experience, for those points of impact.
High: Bike riding through the city. Any person can rent a car or take public transport, but it was a special experience to be able to see the city from a different perspective. We ventured into the nooks and crannies, places people only could know about if they lived there. We got to stop and marvel at old brick buildings, take pictures of street art, and find community gardens nestled between skyrises. We got to see the beauty of Seattle - both hidden and not so hidden - at our own pace and it made all the difference.
Low: Speaking of biking...we biked close to 7 miles to the city of Ballard for a farmers market, which was the only low experience I could think of. I love farmers markets and the ones in my city are huge. However, the one in Ballard, while full of amazing fresh produce and food, wasn't worth the long ride. In our long journey though we stumbled upon a pretty awesome community garden, which just goes to show you that there are no wrong turns when you're open to finding beauty in your surroundings.
High: My last highlight was not a place or a sight but it was the way in which we approached the trip. I was blessed to have a travel partner that, unlike me, chooses to leave everything to happen on a whim. While I like to adventure, a rough guideline never hurt anybody right? I decided to forfeit all of that and answer to things that brought inspiration. Let me tell you... being in the moment… this is something I need to do more often because it felt spectacular! We had ideas of where we wanted to go but we let the universe work out the details and it turned out to be the precise dose of ‘being present’ that I needed.
These were a few of my favorite things:
I know everyone mentions Pike Place when they talk about Seattle but all those recommendations really did make sense once we got there. You could easily spend hours roaming through the levels upon levels of shops and goodies. The food was fresh, delicious, and eclectic. The stores had the most unique stuff from old records to handmade jewelry to buddha-filled windows. Each twist and turn led to new sights, smells, and trinkets.
This park was actually pretty incredible. Not only did you get to walk through and interact with installation art but the park sits right on the water so you get to have art with a view. We visited the park multiple times and each time, we found a new installation and got relax on driftwood logs and admire the sunset while ferries passed by.
This gem is on the island of Bainbridge and if you have a sweet tooth this is the place to go. They have dozens of flavors and, if you are as indecisive as I am, they were nice enough to let me sample a ton of flavors. I ended up inhaling my double scoop cone in a few minutes because I'm classy like that.