Tiffany and I are moving to Portland, Oregon. It's official.
Tiffany has done most of the real work so that this may happen. I'm thankful and proud. We still have a lot of work to do, what with selling our things, deciding what is worth keeping, finding jobs, etc. I'm fortunate that I'll be able to temporarily keep my job with the local website that I write for.
While I don't necessarily feel like we owe everyone an explanation as to why we're moving, I still want to write about it.
"Why are you moving to Portland?"
Because everyone else is moving to Portland. Duh.
Actually, no. Not really. It's plain and simple. What has appealed to so many other outsiders before us also appeals to us.
"But seriously, what's in Portland?"
This is a question I am only ever asked by people who've never been. Apart from craft beer, Carrie Brownstein, and legalized marijuana, Portland still seems to be a mystery to most people I encounter.
I'm going to be blunt (no pun intended) and tell you that I'm sick and tired of having to drive everywhere for everything. Portland has one of the cleanest and most efficient public transit systems I've ever utilized. I can say this with experience because Tiffany and I visited the city last year for a vacation and fell head over heels in love with the damn place. The ease of transit is a huge reason why we initially fell so hard. It's so good, it feels like it's somewhere that actually gives a shit about its citizens (like a European city or something). It's SO good, it makes you wonder why the hell the rest of the country can't make it work. Until then, tally fucking ho.
I shouldn't have to sell the concept of not driving to anyone. I'm not trying to convince you that it's best for you, but even you probably secretly hate driving, and you already know it's awful for the environment. If you're one of those people who attaches most of your identity to your vehicle, I doubt you're reading this anyway.
"So what else is there?"
Great food, accessible professional soccer, art, bookstores, friendly crazy people, and friends (who may or may not also be friendly crazy people) all add to the long list of positive Portland attributes.
As for the food, there's an unprecedented wealth of food trucks, gluten-free options (for Tiffany), and worldly cuisine that is simply not available in our ancient little corner of Florida. The soccer accessibility was cool before the Portland Timbers won the 2015 MLS Cup, but it's even cooler now (despite the fact that my Philadelphia Union will always be closest to my heart). As far as art is concerned, there's music, performance art, and visual art seemingly available around every corner. Even if it isn't to anyone's liking, there's the weed, god damn it.
If nothing else, Portland has more than one comedy club, and also more than one hell hole dive comedy club. Options abound, unlike in St. Augustine, or the rest of North "you better not use big words and you better stick mostly to dick jokes" Florida. There's more than even the remainder of the Deep "if you even remotely make me feel uncomfortable, I'm going to hate you forever, because I'm a shallow, overly sensitive twat who hypocritically bitches and moans about the PC police every time I'm forced to acknowledge change" South.
We will more than likely not be able to afford the vast majority of the things that make Portland appealing. Not initially we won't, anyway. But at least we will have a home in a city that, for us, is absolutely worth living in. It's going to suck being even further away from family. It's going to suck being further away from friends (the ones who aren't already there, obviously). It's going to suck dragging the cats out there (we can only take two out of our three, so if anyone wants a beautiful kitty cat, please hit me up).
We know it's going to be difficult. Thanks. Your reminders have been so helpful.
It'd be a whole lot more difficult living somewhere that makes us miserable.
And if we're wrong, we're wrong. Now is the time for us to figure it out.
P.S. - Fuck rednecks.