I think some have wondered what life is like in Oregon. I have to say that overall as a location I have loved it. I am close to the mountains, the beach, lakes, rivers, even a major metropolitan. Plus, the weather is more mild than other places I've lived.
I have chosen to live in the state’s capital. It is a bit like my
hometown of Spokane, but it feels smaller (at least the greater area). It even has a "River Front Park “The nice bit about Salem is that it is central to most things I listed above. It is about an hour to any of it. the mountains are only a half hour away.
Salem is a gray place in my opinion. The buildings around town all seem to have this heaviness. The energy is not like Portland. It is slower and a bit sadder. I am not sure if it is due to Salem being the location of several jails/ prisons and the state behvioral health hospital. It just has a sad feel to me, a little gray space. It also is not always dog friendly as the park staff around the capitol have been rude to me when out with my dog. Although there are several dog parks all around Salem, some nicer than others. I usually go to the ones where Brontë and I can use space without other dogs (AKA The little dog side!) My favorite is outside of Salem in a nearby town called Silverton, the Silverton Dog Park. It is clean and everyone has always been friendly, respectful and understanding when my pup has no interest in playing. Plus it is only 15 minutes from me like the other parks.
The restaurant scene here is ok. Better than Auburn, AL was but not as good as Portland. I have found that I love this diner called Sybil's Omelets. They have great diner breakfast food. There is another place I have not had the opportunity to try yet I hear is great called Word of Mouth. Everyone raves about that place, but they have been really busy each time I've attempted to go. I have been to some Asian food that was good, and a Thai place although they do not stick in my mind clearly. There is Mexican/ Hispanic food everywhere. The Yard is a food truck place that is really family friendly and I enjoyed it when I went. They even have a bar and yard games for people to enjoy.
I am living in my RV, continuing to upgrade it to be an even more functional space. It is small but perfect for Brontë and I. We have adjusted nicely. Bronte is seeming very comfortable and adjusting to our life there. I like living small. It is nice to have a space that I can manage well, that is safe and secure, most importantly mine. I will do a whole post on my tiny life, challenges and the MANY benefits later this year.
I am able to do a hybrid life which is great and a perfect fit for me. I am able to work a steady job doing meaningful work while living small and still traveling around on adventures. We go out several times a month to different state parks and on hiking/ camping adventures. Someday perhaps I will travel more and be more nomadic but for now this is perfect for me. The biggest challenge has been making friends. Outside of my work friends it is a lot slower than I am used to. I am doing all the right things, it just takes time!! It does rain here all winter… which I will take over snow but it is sometimes a bummer. The ice can also get-cha on the roads. Salem does not have many plows etc. I have loved that I can still be outside dispite the weather. Brontë doesn’t seem to mind the rain or mud.
Brontë is adjusting well to her new life. She is still a handful
sometimes, but she has gotten her performer trick title with the AKC and is learning respect for the horses. We have taken a break from classes but will start again at the end of February. She is calming down and becoming comfortable in the RV, she wasn’t liking it at first. She was always trying to escape when we first moved in. Now she loves to get in and goes to her little dog cave under the couch/former dinette.
I have started Krav Maga (more on that in another post) and I will test for my yellow belt at the end of March. I love being able to get active and learn some self-defense skills! I am looking forward to Spring and the many adventures to come!
Overall this move to Oregon has been such a great fit for me. I've had my fair share of struggles but that is to be expected. Nothing too outside the ordinary.It has only been just under 6 months since our move and we have established a life quickly. I feel like this place is a good fit for the way I want to live, the tiny lifestyle I have chosen and my need to be outside and in the mountains. It helps that Brontë is just as excited to be outside as I am!