Settled in Seattle

Seattle, taken from the NG Sea Lion

Yes, it’s been awhile. I haven’t written on whereonearth in several months for several different reasons. The last time I posted a blog was way back in March when I was traveling around Ecuador!¬† One of the reasons I’ve been on hiatus is that I recently started school again, which means that my travels and adventures have virtually stopped (although I did have an awesome two week cross-country road trip and I plan on doing many, many mini vacations!). School also magically and dramatically cuts down on free time… Another reason is that I felt like I had to write a post everyday or at least five days a week. It was a lot of pressure on myself and even though I like to write, I didn’t necessarily want to write everyday. So this time around, it’s going to be a lot less stressful. I want to write posts that I don’t rush through and not just put them up because I feel like I have to put something up. I also want to work on my writing skills because I’m taking a writing course next quarter (writing about food and health to be exact), and I would like to – maybe, possibly – start writing for magazines and/or online blogs or publications. So we’ll see how it goes!

Now for an update on where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to for the past few months. I mentioned in this post that I’ve decided to go back to school. Well, I’ve officially been back in school for three months and I love it! Bastyr is a really great school and even though this quarter has been a quarter of sciences¬† because I’m in the post-bacc program, I love that I’m learning (academically) again. After a year of post-bacc classes, I’m hoping to start the Master’s in Nutrition and Clinical Health Psychology.

Along with going back to school, I’ve also been exploring my new city: Seattle. Being in a new city is not so revolutionary for me (check out this series of posts), but what is new to me is the fact that I’m staying in this city, for more that a few days or weeks, at least. I love discovering new places and getting lost amid the gridwork of city streets (as long as I have a map or GPS). Here are a few places that I’ve discovered and love about Seattle:

The Burke-Gilman trail – runs from Ballad to Kenmore and connects to a number of other paved bike trails/lanes. I can bike to Bastyr almost entirely on the trail!

Sutra Restaurant and Yoga Studio – an all-vegan, set-menu, local-food restaurant. What more could I ask for? Also attached to the restaurant is a yoga studio. I’ve been volunteering at the owners farm in Monroe for one day a month in exchange for free yoga. Perfect! Here’s a pic of a greenhouse that we helped build.

Chocolati in Wallingford – my go-to study spot. Amazing almond milk hot chocolate!

Value Village – not very classy, I know, but you can find some amazing discoveries there. Sometimes. A lot of the times it’s all junk, but I’ve gotten some pretty nice plant pots and kitchen stuff for cheap!

I’m still exploring and still discovering, so these are only a few of the places I’ve found. There’s lots of great restaurants and things to do and see in Seattle, so keep checking back! Now on to studying…

So It Begins

It feels like this day has been long in the future for many months, but now that it has arrived, everything seems to be going so fast! I disembarked the National Geographic Sea Bird at 8:00 this morning and took the shuttle bus to the Portland airport with the guests. My first flight is a quick jump up to Seattle, then I head out over the Pacific Ocean to Seoul, Korea and finally Bangkok. All in all it will be 21 hours of travel time, arriving in Thailand at 12:30 AM on Halloween! I doubt I’ll be celebrating much, though… I’ll probably spend the better part of the day in bed.

The River trips were really great. These voyages are much different than our other destinations (Alaska, Baja, Costa Rica/Panama), because we don’t do as many outdoor activities, like hiking and kayaking. But, we still go to some beautiful places and learn about the history of the area – namely the voyage of Lewis and Clark. Last week I got to go on a jet boat that traveled up the Snake River in Idaho. We traveled through Hell’s Canyon, which is a beautiful narrow gorge with tall basalt cliffs and short stretches of white water. Along the banks we spotted herds of mule deer and bighorn sheep. It was amazing to see them scramble up the steep rocks wig no apparent effort. We also visited Palouse Falls in Washington. Another canyon, this place is absolutely spectacular. After a short bus ride though the brown, rolling, slightly mundane hills of western Washington, we arrived at the falls and it was like stepping into another world. The waterfall flows out of a narrow river and descends several hundred feet into a giant lagoon. We stood at the top of the gorge and looked down in, making sure not to step too close to the edge. I tried to take pictures, but they don’t do it justice.

I’m about to board my plane, so I’ll leave off here.