Sunday, May 13, 2012

Welcoming Myself to Vancouver

Why in the world am I writing a blog, you may ask?  If you're reading this soon after it posted, you must know me -- and if you know me, you must know that I'm normally a very private, reserved person.  I don't even read other people's blogs because I'm afraid of knowing people!  But, at my age (37), I feel like I may have some knowledge that other people would like, and I'm fascinated with the new media.  I've actually had several false starts with blogging, but always pulled the plug right as it published or shortly thereafter.  I can't promise that this will be any different, though I have a different strategy this time.  Whereas my previous attempts always focused on a specific topic, I'm going to run this as a general blog, to include articles pertaining to all my interests, and see where that goes -- it's quite possible that this will either change to be a focused blog or will be broken apart into a few different topical blogs as I start to generate more content.

Why now?  Well, I've just moved to Vancouver, Washington for my job.  I work in technical sales for a security company, traveling primarily within the Pacific Time Zone.  That wasn't really a feasible scenario when I was living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Between the strange work hours cutting into my evenings and the extra time required for every flight I took, it was really wearing me out.  Of course, my employer was also concerned about the extra costs associated with that extra time, as well.  I took the time to compare West Coast cities on a variety of requirements, and arrived at the conclusion that the Portland, Oregon area would work best for me.  

At the end of last year, my significant other and I were looking for places, but due to a variety of concerns that were brought forth in January, we decided that I would come out by myself and rent an apartment for a year.  We really felt that we didn't want to complicate her job, although she had received a tentative approval to work from home if we did move, and I really needed to focus on getting better at mine (first job I've had in sales, and I'm still learning the trade).  We're hoping that those issues will be resolved in the next year, at which point we'll go back to the original plan.

A positive side-effect of living separately for a year is that we can focus on trying out a few activities that we've wanted to do that just get postponed when you are living with someone.  Things like exercise, research on personal interests, and yes, even a blog.  

As they say in the business -- to make a short story long, that's why I'm writing a blog!

Anyway, my first week was pretty uneventful, apart from the unpacking and such.  I didn't even do much exploring, apart from a quick drive around my immediate surroundings and a couple trips to places that I already knew about (like Ikea and a boardgame Meetup group).  This week is more meant for exploring, now that I'm on my own.  Today, the temperature was nice enough (if not a little too hot) to take a walking tour of my immediate surroundings.  I had no idea that from around the corner, I would be able to see Mt. Hood!  I really like this mountain/volcano.  Every time I get a glimpse, I'm just mesmerized.  I think that I'm going to add the view of Mt. Hood to my requirements for my next home.  Anyway, I got a picture, but please pardon the quality, it's from my mobile phone.

I also got a chance to stop in a local game store, where I got some ideas for other places that I need to visit. While most places that they were recommending were a couple hours away, it seems that is a fairly common recommendation around here -- they push their outdoors activities from the Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helen's, the Pacific Ocean, and the desert to the south.  I look forward to checking all those destinations out over the course of the summer, but in the meantime, please leave me some comments on more local recommendations that you would give to new residents!

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