something that hundreds of thousands of other fine people know: what it is like to relocate to portland.

being one of an increasingly uncommon passel of folks who were actually spawned and reared in this place, means i am surrounded by a whole mad herd of people who came here on purpose. and i feel lucky. because i want to spend the rest of my life here. it’s like being in an arranged marriage where you actually happen to be madly in love with the partner someone else chose for you.

but i know i have missed out on some quintessential “uprooting an entire life” type experiences. and the bravery and faith required for such a leap is almost unfathomable to me. there have been no tarps secured over a pickup full of belongings. no dark nights of driving to a new town without a clear sense of how living there will feel. i have never had to get to know a new town. i have never had to discover the best route to anywhere, because i have always known it. i have never been presented with such a remarkable chance to create a tale about my life in surroundings unfamiliar to me.

and this seems like something i want to experience. but i cannot imagine bringing myself to go elsewhere just to feel it.

and it is always one of the first questions i ask: what made you choose this place? of all the places? what was it like to come here from wherever it was you came? what drew you here and what do you miss about where you’re from. and what was the most fundamental change you underwent to become a portlander at last?

i imagine it is a journey that changes a person. hilarity and loneliness must ensue. the magic of this place is not lost on me for a moment, but i will never know the magic of this place as a stranger must.