I had to buy airport water… that took a serious notch out of my ego.
OREGON!!!!! I went to Oregon. Very cool stuff.
I begin writing this on Monday, March 20th at 11:25pm from Gate D7 at the PDX airport. Where all great novels are born. I have gotten 3 hours of sleep, which is pretty good for 11:25 at night but not very good given I’m about to board three different airplanes in the next twelve hours, changing time zones twice. But no rest for the wicked. I can feel a slightly delusional version of blogger brain coming, meaning I might be about to pen a truly moving piece of literature, possibly about the how much money I could make if I bottled the water that I get for free out of the tap at my own house and sold it to airports to sell for like $5 per fluid ounce. Seriously, I could be bringing in the dough, we all could.
Boarding starts in 20 minutes. I have been dreaming of visiting my best friend Anna at her grandparents’ beautiful farm in Oregon for years, and finally that dream came to fruition! The wild ride that is sEnIoR YeAr sPrInG bReAk is taking me bi-coastal, as I’m getting home today (or is it technically tomorrow??) only to leave the next day to go to another friend’s beach house in Delaware to take her senior pictures at the beach. Very exciting!!! Sometimes I feel that I have the social life of a nepo baby on press tour, and sometimes I feel like a rural farmer who doesn’t own a clock. We love a life of chaotic balance.
The middle-aged woman across the row from me just pulled out a Lunchable and is chowing down. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone who has lost their baby teeth eating Lunchables, but we love the confidence. There’s a line of four burly men beside her, one of whom just put his next pillow vertically around his head, like a crown of comfortability, much to the amusement of both me and his buddies. Ever notice that only straight white men over 40 have “buddies”? I think about that a lot.
Anyway, the Oregon dream came true and it was absolutely wonderful. Sure enough, the farm was beautiful, the nature gorgeous (even in March – isn’t that supposed to be one of the ugliest months of the year? Somebody forgot to give Oregon the memo) and the people lovely. I focused more on the photography side of documentation, rather than my typical vlogging, and I’m so excited to share it with you. I still was able to capture some beautiful footage of the coast, but I’ve been trying to work more on creating almost photojournalism-esc content of my own life, as opposing to the standard vlogs I’ve been making for years.
I made it through the marathon day of crossing the country via air mail, and I now sit at my dining room table penning this novel whilst my mother works on her oil painting right beside me. No for real, apparently my life is a Renaissance scene.
Let me see how I can truly expand on my Oregonian experience. It was incredible! But traveling to new places nearly always is. (I say nearly always because Jacksonville, Florida was possibly the most underwhelming and slightly depressing experience I’ve ever had. So, nearly always.) The nature was unlike anything I've seen before. I got to experience the "Pacific North West" (or PNW for short) style of both architecture and nature, and I really see why it's so popular. I love how architecture matches lifestyle, and in the PNW it seems they choose materials and colors that are meant to make you notice the color of the nature around the structure, as opposed to the structure itself. Dark wood and wet concrete, hard lines and busy forest - like an A frame in the dark woods - it's so beautiful. A different beautiful from anything else I've seen. I'm blessed to have traveled a good bit up and down the East Coast with my family and I loved comparing different cities and regions, so Oregon was a whole new ball game.
Even though we didn't go specifically to Portland, I definitely noticed the "Portlandia vibe" that is so widely chuckled about on social media as the hippy nature folks. Walking around Fred Meyer (their version of the southern grocery store Harris Teeter... both unattractive male names that leave me puzzled as the name of a grocery store) you were likely to notice the Starbucks worker with expanders and teal hair. Just like cool artsy young people anywhere else, except it felt more common and intentional where we were. Oregonians also seem to dress exclusively in 75% Patagonia, The North Face, and Columbia. Understandable, honestly. If every Patagonia ad was shot in my backyard, I'd probably buy a lot more from them too.
Traveling alone as a teenager is a fascinating thing. You experience all of this new stuff and then return home to see that nothing has changed, except there are some new snacks in the pantry and a lot of laundry to do. I love it, but I do miss my family. I've heard they miss me too, haha. These relatively young adventures in solo travel feel like training for my dream career of photojournalism, and somehow viewing it as training for my aspirational highest ideal makes it feel fun and doable. Doing decently overwhelming travel alone is so normal for so many people at my school, so whenever I feel scared about it, I just think about all of my classmates who have to do this so often to even get home to a different country. It's a luxury for me. I'm so thankful for these opportunities and I'm trying to train myself to DIY solo travel and then return quietly home to go through hundreds of photos and post on my blog. It's a good life. 😊
Life on the farm was wonderful and truly lived up to my daydreams inspired by Anna's stories. It's a different way of life there and I'm so glad I could experience it! Below are some photos from Anna's neighborhood and farm life. I learned to drive a gator, we collected chicken eggs, did lots of running, and overall I had a wonderful senior year spring break with my best friends. It was a joy and I'm so thankful for the experience!! Be sure to check out all of the photos below and watch out for more OR content coming in the future.
💌 Edith Noble