Culture Shock of Leaving Manhattan

There are epic spiders all over Portland. Just so you know, because I didn’t. That’s one of the things no one thinks to tell you, when you talk about moving to Portland.

Scary Spiders of Portland
Scary Spiders of Portland

On my first morning walk in the Sellwood neighborhood, I found myself thinking “I don’t think we’re in Gramercy anymore.” Unlike Dorthy, I didn’t dream my way here.

I drove cross-country to “Weird” Portland by choice after a decade in Manhattan. Bello and I are now full on Nomad. For the next two months we’re following the IPA Road. Simply because, as Nomads we can! That and well, we sure do like the beer here.

Still, those first few days of adjusting to a new home, even for a couple of Nomads are delightfully jarring. This morning, I got to break out in fits of giggles on seeing this. Something tells me our new neighbors are not the Wall Street type.

Sellwood Neighborhood Bus
Sellwood Neighborhood Bus

Here in Sellwood, Portland, people are more likely to share tea than stock talk. In fact at the corner of Sherrett and 9th, better known as Share-It Square, that’s exactly what happens. Get it Sherrett and Share-It?!?!

Share-It Square
Share-It Square

Now, I wasn’t here in 1996 when six neighboring families got Portland’s permission this tea station. So I don’t know for sure if Sherrett and Share-It was an intentional joke. What’s clear, is that the intention behind the brightly colored street is no joke. The idea was to get people to stop, talk and get to know one another.

That’s exactly what people, like myself do. We stop. You don’t just zoom through this neighborhood. How very, very different from Manhattan. Where, even in your daily coffee shop stop, you really don’t “get to know people.”

Truth is, in my first morning here, there was a lot that was different and I stopped to notice as much as I could.

Here in Portland, it’s the Sunflowers scrapping the sky.

Sunflowers So Tall they Block the Sun
Sunflowers So Tall they Block the Sun

Instead of an overcrowded Riverside Park, I walked along the Sellwood Riverfront Park. I didn’t have to watch out for bikes whizzing by. I simply had to pet a few sopping wet dogs who wanted to say “Hi!”

Sellwood Riverfront Park
Sellwood Riverfront Park

The moon was even out, which felt very, very strange on a morning walk for me.

Itty Bitty Mornning Moon Over Portland
Itty Bitty Morning Moon Over Portland

Had it been there in the morning in Manhattan? I’m 2,901 miles further West on the globe, is that why? Or is it that on my morning walks, I was looking out for traffic and creating my own world with headphones?

It’s hard to say just yet. Right now, I’m still trying to orient myself and stop wandering through hidden gates to Amusement Parks off the beach. Oops!

Oaks Amusement Park
Oaks Amusement Park

So are we moving to Portland? Will ALOR becoming a moving to Portland blog? PROBABLY not. We’re pretty sure we’re still destined to remain nomadic. It’s fun to wake up and notice life everyday. Can you imagine getting to do that all year round, never feeling a single day is dull?

What I can say though, is that I see now why Portland so proudly claims to be weird. So far, I like what I see! Yes, it’s a little weird but it sure is nice.

Our Path to Becoming Nomads: How We Afford 90 Days on the Road, Let the Path to Dual Citizenship Begin, Cross Country Coming Up!

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