If you’ve read my “About Me” (or know me in real life), you know that I’ve lived in Washington State my entire life. I think I always took for granted how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful and amazing area. That is, until I met Kurt, who is from Missouri. My mind was especially made up after I visited Missouri in the summer for the first time. I don’t take it for granted anymore. I am very, very thankful to be living where I am, specifically in Western Washington. So here are some reasons why Washington is awesome. Please do not take this as bashing any other state or region, or the people who live there.
1. We are not experiencing the coldpocalypse that has been affecting much of the rest of the country, mainly the Midwest. This week, temperatures have been in the upper 40’s (F). So far this winter, snow has fallen once. It didn’t even last all day. I like snow, but it gets old real fast, so not having to deal with that is great.
2. We never get mayflies or junebugs. They just aren’t a thing. Kurt tells me that in Missouri, thousands of mayflies hatch at once and they just hang out in the air around your house, and if you spray them with water to incapacitate them, they stink really, really bad. Um, no thanks? The only annoying bugs I’ve noticed in Kirkland are European cross spiders. Except for in winter, they are literally everywhere. I have walked out my front door to ALMOST run into a huge web with one of those big suckers about to say hello to my face. No thanks to that too, but at least they don’t stink and fill the air. We also don’t have poisonous snakes or scorpions. Well, we have rattlesnakes. But that’s really it. We do have Bigfoot though!
3. While the humidity in Western Washington is greater than it is on the other side of the Cascade Mountains, in Central and Eastern Washington, it still doesn’t top the humidity levels of the Midwest. Usually. In summer of 2012, dew levels in Seattle reached “60”, which if you are not versed in meteorologist-speak, is high. Seattle usually peaks at 50. My first full summer here since early childhood was definitely not as muggy as my first visit to Missouri. And here is where the comparison stops, because I really didn’t want this to be a “Missouri sucks” post because people live there whom I love. I just wouldn’t choose to live there, given the choice between here and there. It’s just the weather, I swear!
4. We have loud sports fans. For the Seahawks. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing. I’m not, but lots of people are. Did you know that Seahawks fans broke the world record for loudest cheer at a football game or something this past season? And the Seahawks might go to the Super Bowl this year, so that’s exciting!
5. We are healthy. In an analysis of American cities by Nerdwallet.com, Seattle ranked second in overall healthiness. Things considered: health scores, insurance coverage, clean air, outdoor activities, and prevalence of doctors. Seattle scored highest on clean air and high fitness.
6. It’s so green! Environmentally and physically! The other day I met someone from Ireland who said she loved this area because it reminded her of her homeland. The wet climate, the green landscape. That only makes me want to visit the home of my ancestors all the more. I love how many trees there are here, how many parks, and how much water. It’s so beautiful!
7. There is a huge variety of outdoor things to do in a huge variety of biomes. You want to go biking? Hiking? Rock climbing? Surfing? Parasailing? Boating? Skiing? You can do it all in Washington. We’ve got big cities, small towns, farming villages, deserts, shrub-steppe, beaches, lakes. We’ve got mountains, beaches, valleys, lakes, deserts, shrub-steppe, grasslands, hills, and freaking rainforests. All in one state. Yeah.
8. Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft, Arenanet, and Starbucks all started here. Not to mention Costco! This means lots of jobs. Well, there are lots of jobs in general, at least on the west side of the Cascades, just because there are so many business and so many people. Kurt and I have gotten 5 jobs between us (kept 3) in the last 8 months, and we got the first 3 nearly immediately after applying. I didn’t even have retail experience.
9. This is one is specific to Seattle, but I just feel really strongly about it, okay? Seattle is a very widespread city, and is made up of neighborhoods. My favorites right now are U-District and Ballard, but I haven’t explored all of them fully. You can live in and soak in the culture of one neighborhood and go to work and soak in the culture of a different one, and it’s only a 20-minutes bus ride. Every neighborhood is totally different and has their own vibe that is completely distinct from all the others. You could live your entire life in Seattle and still discover something new every week. That is what I intend to do.
10. Another Seattle one: The transit system. The Metro Transit system can get you nearly anywhere and cuts out costs like parking, gas, and car insurance (Kurt has a car but only pays for insurance for himself because I don’t drive it). Many people work on the east side of the Lake Washington and work in downtown Seattle, like I do. It’s an hour and ten minutes of a ride, but I can read the whole time, so I don’t care.
There are so many more, but this post had to end at some point.
What’s your favorite thing about your homeland?