I’ve got the blues, the Seattle blues to be specific. The blues I speak of are not weather-induced. Seattle in the summer has warm, crisp days and beautiful blue skies. Crazy, right? When I used to think about Seattle, I would imagine a depressing gray sky, wet sidewalks and piercing cold wind (this is true for the winter). Boy was I surprised.
A little Seattle 411 for my fellow misinformed Miamians (I was clueless prior to this trip):
Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region of North America and the 15th largest city in the U.S. Home to Boeing, Amazon.com, T-Mobile, Microsoft and other corporate giants, Seattle’s metropolitan area is the fastest growing in the country. Nestled between the saltwater Puget Sound (an arm of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington, the city is composed of seven hills and breathtaking, lush landscapes that remain green year-long due to the constant light rainfall during the fall, winter and spring (hence its nickname, “The Emerald City”). So before I go on full-fledged Wikipedia mode on you guys, let me explain to you why Seattle rocked me, to my very core.
Let me be the first one to say, I LOVE Miami. Even though I was born in Colombia, Miami is my home. I am the first person to brag about our cultural diversity, our gorgeous beaches, the fine cuisine, the art scene, the beautiful people and our year-long warm weather (plus I LOVE palm trees). BUT, loving Miami does not make me blind to the fact that we are SO EMBARRASSINGLY BEHIND on things that seem to be standard in other cities like Seattle such as a good public transportation system, clean energy, sustainability, recycling and composting, and green living. This organic way of living in Seattle is evident in the amount of people you see riding their bicycles to and from school/work, the large amount of hybrid cars on the road and, the fact that you won’t see a piece of trash on the streets. People seem to be connected to the city and its surroundings on a deep, emotional level. Maybe it is because there is so much natural beauty to admire and preserve, maybe it’s just a cultural thing, either way, I wish we had more of that here in Miami. It is disgusting to see the amount of trash left behind on our beaches or the illegal dumping sites at the Everglades. A big contrast is also people’s attitude in general. Everyone is SO NICE, drivers actually stop for pedestrians, and people don’t seem to be in such a hurry like us in Miami (me included). We drove by the most expensive real estate in the city and you predominantly see Toyota Prius’, Buicks and non-luxury cars parked in the driveways of seven-figured homes. Maybe it’s an unfair comparison as each city has its individual sets of qualities and challenges; maybe it’s the fact that my time in Seattle reminded me of my childhood in Medellin where everything is green and the sun sets behind the mountains; or maybe I’m just biased as I had a magical five days with my family visiting my brother whom I miss dearly. I sound like I haven’t left Miami prior to this trip; the truth is, I have been very blessed and I have traveled quite a bit. I guess some experiences just stay with you more than others.
Conclusion, even though I love our “Miami” life I want to adopt more of a “Seattle” way of living. I want to be less (I can’t believe I’m about to say this…) plastic, I want to make more of a conscious effort to live in the present. I want to slow down and not honk at people on the road. I want to plan more picnics on the weekends and less planning which brunch spot we are trying next. I want to take our recycling efforts to the next level both at home and at work, and use greener cleaning products. I want to take my workout from the comfort of Equinox to the outdoors (weather permitting) and live a more modest lifestyle and spend less and save more. Even though there are no mountains to go hiking here, I am making it a point to explore this beautiful state of ours and with that, this beautiful, diverse country we are so incredibly lucky to call home.