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note to self: i’ll be there for you, always

written june 6, 2021. Photo by Kristine Cinate on Unsplash I have always looked for myself in other people. I think the idea was that they would somehow hold the pieces of me that I felt were missing. That maybe, if I wrapped my identity up in theirs enough, we would somehow make a whole person. It's not healthy to live like this, but I did it anyway — burning through relationships and searching for something I couldn't quite name. It was never enough, not to be myself, but it was never enough to latch my identity to other people, either. I got close, several times — I thought I had reached the pinnacle of self discovery. I thought I had completed myself. But in the end, relying on other people to help build yourself is never a viable way to do things. It's only recently that I've started to become comfortable with the idea of being enough, as I am, on my own. Several years ago, in this same position, I would have searched for another person to attach my identity onto,

The One Where I Go to Oregon

At the beginning of this year, I decided something: it was time for me to travel. It's been difficult for me to travel due to my chronic illness, and to be honest, my anxiety was a huge factor as well. But this year, I decided that at 19 years old, it was time to go somewhere outside my comfort zone. I didn't have any specific plans, but I decided that if the opportunity to travel presented itself, I would go.

Cut to my friend Trishelle (some of you may know her as Georgie...) telling me that she was going to school in Minnesota, and she was going on a major crosscountry road trip to get there. One of the stops included Colorado, so a weird idea started forming in my brain: what if I went with her from Colorado to Minnesota, then flew home? It would be fun, it would allow me to see the U.S. (including Mount Rushmore), and it would be a way to stretch my wings.

In July, it became clear that Trishelle actually couldn't go out to school in August due to finances. So, we readjusted. I took the money I'd saved and I bought a plane ticket... to Oregon. It was time for Trishelle to show me her world. I would also be able to see the wild city of Portland and the ocean--my very first time.

I landed in Portland on September 5th and what followed was one of the most awesome weeks of my life.

Day One // Saturday, 9.5.15

My mom, sister, and I drove into Denver and checked me into the flight. We went through airport security, where this nice guy let me bring my protein shakes through even though they were too big. (Thank you, sir!) Then we ate some Panda Express and before I knew it, it was almost time for my flight to board.

This was my first flight, so I'll admit it, I was nervous. Due to my nervousness, my mom asked if I could meet one flight attendant.

Um. They brought out two flight attendants and the PILOT. They were extremely nice and the pilot said he'd show me the cockpit.

Then we boarded, and I forgot to go see the cockpit. I know, I know. I'm still mad at myself.

My first flight was nervewracking and yet actually kind of fun. Seeing the clouds up close was stunning, honestly, and there was a moment where we were in the middle of a cloud and totally shrouded in it. I was in a window seat next to a couple who slept the whole time (and who looked like Dustin Hoffman and Laura Dern).

close enough.

The plane landed and as it did, I fell in love with Oregon immediately. It reminded me a bit of Colorado. I got off the plane and that was it. I was in Portland!

I met up with Georgie at a security checkpoint and we promptly took a selfie.

pc: Trishelle
After that we checked into our hotel, then ventured out to find something to eat. We got lost in Portland and drove around for about thirty minutes before we finally found a parking garage. Trishelle googled good food places close by, and as soon as we exited the parking garage, there it was... Fathead's Brewery.

Their logo is this smiling dude and it's on everything (even imprinted in the backs of the chairs). Even though I had said I didn't want a burger, I ordered a burger. Sadly, due to being underage, I could not sample this brewery's beer, so we left with a slightly lackluster view of our experience.

We went back to the hotel and changed into our pajamas, then laid on the bed and watched TV. As I came out of the bathroom, Trishelle pointed to the screen and said there was an assault happening right by us. Well, 20 minutes from us. For me, this was routine--for her, this was shocking. I'm from a big city and she's from a small town, so we had very different views about how dramatic this was.

We watched TV until we fell asleep. 

Day Two // Sunday, 9.6.15

I woke up at 4:30 and couldn't sleep because I was in pain, so I got on my iPod for a bit until I fell asleep. I didn't wake up until 11, and by then we needed to get out of the hotel, so we packed all my crap up and left. We went to a cafe close by for breakfast, called Prescott Cafe. It was an old house that was converted into a restaurant, and the atmosphere was amazing. Diner coffee, red booth seats, and a waitress that called you "hon." PRICELESS.


I know you're thinking something like this...

Here's the thing: I have a really hard time buying books. I like to know I love them before I spend money on them. So I was skeptical on the fact that I was going to Powell's. I mean, I wanted to see it for the atmosphere, but I didn't know if I'd buy anything. Before we got there, I said, "I don't know what I even will buy. Maybe The Great Gatsby? And I wanna take a look at the young adult section."


I loved the young adult section! There was every book I ever wanted to read! Even in the adult section I found every book I wanted to read! Powell's is a dangerous place!

I walked out with my favorite books ever: The Great Gatsby, This Lullaby, and Fangirl; a used copy of the awesome Divergent; a Calvin & Hobbes book for my sister and dad; and a risky new purchase: Since You've Been Gone

 I spent $77 on books. Not ashamed. If you ever go to Powell's, just know that it's dangerous.

We poked our heads into the Rare Book Room where I saw a giant Marvel comics collection worth more than my entire wardrobe, as well as hand-written books from years ago that cost $1,000. 

Then it was time to hit the road. Where were we going? THE COAST.

Our road led us through the more vineyard-esque parts of Oregon. It also led us to a barn called Bernard's Farm, where we stopped off to use the restroom. Inside they had a lot of produce and some flowers, and we bought some caramel for the road (it was delicious).

After a few hours of driving through the forest, we were about to hit the coast. I caught my first glimpses of the ocean through buildings and trees, and then we hit a stretch where it opened up in front of me and I thought... is this real?

It got even more real when we reached Newport, Oregon, which would be our home for the next day and a half. I could see it clearly then, bright blue. Still wasn't sure if it was real.

We were extremely hungry so, much like in Portland, we stopped off at the first restaurant we saw, which was more different than anything I've ever experienced. After that, we dumped our stuff at the hotel and tried to book it back to the beach before it got dark. We made it right as the sun was setting. We had to walk down some steps to get to it, and I was so excited. 

Seeing the ocean for the first time is something that kind of goes beyond words. It was so wild and beautiful and alive. I stood in the middle of the waves, ignoring how cold they were, and I drank in every moment. It's something I won't be forgetting.

Back at the hotel, we watched How I Met Your Mother. Then Friends came on. Trishelle is a huge fan of Friends, but I hadn't quite figured out what made it so special yet.

Oh, trust me. I know now.

This one episode came on where Joey was on the game show Pyramid, and I could not stop laughing. 

I decided I need to watch Friends more. We kept watching it until we fell asleep.

Day Three // Monday, 9.7.15

We got up early and ate breakfast at Newport Cafe before heading down to the historic Newport Bay, which had a pier and lots of shops. On the pier, I found an orange tabby cat (named Colby or something?) who belonged to one of the shop owners, and he promptly decided to lay on my feet. He apparently liked me. It took a lot of effort to pull myself away from him!

We went to some shops and I bought some rings (because hallelujah they had ring sizes bigger than size 8). After this, we decided to go to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, where I proceeded to see sharks and touch anemones. (Though I was disappointed that I didn't see any whales or dolphins. Turns out I was thinking of Sea World.)

After the aquarium, we took off to visit the beach one more time. Our destination of choice? A lighthouse. Yaquina Head, to be exact.

We got out into the wind where we were on cliffs above the ocean, like something out of a movie (or Because I'm Irish). Though we chose not to go inside the lighthouse, we did take a millions steps down to Yaquina Head's Cobble Beach, a beach filled with craggy rocks and tons of pebbles. This time, the cold Oregon water really did make me freeze. We touched some anemones in tide pools and watched the waves crash against the rocks for a while until we decided to take off. It was magical.

From there, we headed out of Newport and to Central Oregon, where we reached Trishelle's family's house after 3 and a half hours of driving (through Corvallis and the Willamette National Forest. It was magical). We ate dinner and settled in to watch more Friends. It was a good decision.

Day Four // Tuesday, 9.8.15

Trishelle had to work, so I spent most of my day writing and working on blog stuff. (Though sadly I didn't post here, as you could probably tell...) When she got off, we headed over to her friend's house for a free Mary Kay facial. I was able to meet one of Trishelle's closest friends and quiz her about make up. Win win.

After that, I believe we went home and watched Bob's Burgers, but don't quote me on that.

Day Five // Wednesday, 9.9.15

The next day was Wednesday, Trishelle's sole day off all week. 

Naturally, we decided to make the best of it. I had arranged to meet a Twitter friend that afternoon at Dudley's in Bend, but Trishelle and I drove up there beforehand to look around at Bend and some of the shops. I saw Drake Park, which is gorgeous, and I found a couple of things I wanted to buy but couldn't. Such as these sunglasses.

We then ran over to Dudley's, an atmospheric bookstore/cafe, where we met up with my dear Twitter friend (and now awesome real-life friend), Kaylee

We ended up talking for hours, so much so that she lost track of time and was late for another commitment. It was honestly amazing. I love the people the internet connects me to. 

After that, we met up with Trishelle's awesome friend who took us shooting. When we were done, we went to a brewery in Bend where I ordered a burger and then proceeded to taste a magical tea called Kombucha. I drank mine so fast and I'm so sad that I didn't have more of it. It was wonderful. 

Then we went home and watched Bob's Burgers (I think?).

Day Six // Thursday, 9.10.15

Trishelle was working, so Trishelle's awesome mom and brother decided to take me to the Dee Wright Observatory, which is basically a really cool castle type thing built out of lava rocks. It's for observing all the mountains around Central Oregon, so I got a really good look at all of them. It was amazing.

We went home and when Trishelle got here, it became clear that she had an extremely bad headache, so we gave her some medicine and she rested. After it had calmed down slightly, she took me out to Smith Rock, which was so beautiful and peaceful. True to what I had expected, it reminded me a lot of Colorado's own Garden of the Gods. For a while, we just sat and watched the view, as well as the rock climbers, and it was amazing.

Trishelle's headache was worse later, so we laid low that night.

Day Seven // Friday, 9.11.15

Unfortunately, Trishelle's headache had gotten so bad that they took her into the emergency room. She was put on meds and was drowsy for the whole afternoon. Because of that, I went up to Bend again to meet with my Twitter friend one more time before leaving. We met at The Looney Bean in Bend, which was... um... THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER.

I ordered a drink called the Dirty Hippie, solely for its name, and it was the most heavenly drink I've ever tasted. (It was an espresso mixed with a chai latte. Try it if you're ever in town.)

My friend and I talked about everything under the sun and I realized that I have kindred spirits all over the world.

Please take a moment to appreciate her beautiful and perfect dog, Aerie.
After that, I headed to a gift shop to find souvenirs for my family, and then we picked up Papa Murphy's and came home. Trishelle woke up and felt a bit better, so we decided to watch Friends for our last night together. That is, after she helped me pack up my suitcase after I was panicking about all the stuff I couldn't fit in. Turns out going to Powell's isn't good for the luggage.

We went to bed early because we would soon be waking up at 4:30...

Day Eight // Saturday, 9.12.15

We woke up and somehow got ourselves at the door by 5:00, where we drove along empty dark Oregon highways. There's something that feels weird about being up before anyone else is. I often see 4:30 am, but not because I wake up that early. (I'm an insomniac.)

I tried to sleep, but soon gave up and sat up. We drove through Mt. Hood national forest (and I saw the legendary Mt. Hood), which led us to Portland. We checked in at the airport, ate some breakfast from Mo's, and then waited for my flight.

When they started boarding, it was bittersweet. I missed Colorado and my family and home, but one thing was for sure: I had fallen in love with Oregon.

On the way back to Colorado, I sat next to an older couple from India who also slept the whole time (like my seatmates Dustin and Laura from the flight out). I read Since You've Been Gone the whole time, which squelched any claustrophobia or anxiety I might've had, and then I landed. I was reunited with my family, who I missed a bunch, and I was back in Colorado. As we drove home, everything was a daze. Oregon had been like a dream; it wasn't perfect but it was very dang close. It was everything I dreamed my first trip to be. I saw the ocean, tried Kombucha, shot a gun, met new friends, saw Trishelle's world, and... spread my wings. I feel more independent than ever. 

Oregon, I love you and I can't wait to come back. 

My only question is... what adventure will I go on next?

Have you been to Oregon (or somewhere else)? How was your trip? What adventures have you gone on recently?


  1. I have never been to Oregon - but it's on my top 5 states I want to visit! Your pictures turned out gorgeous and just made me want to go even more.
    Big bookstores are incredibly dangerous. I even work at a bookstore, but when I went to NYC earlier this year (to a book convention), I basically came back with a whole bookcase full of books. I ended up having to ship some home! And even after the book convention, I went to the Strand Bookstore (amazing!) and bought a couple more. I have a serious problem here.
    It sounds like you had a wonderful trip :) I'm glad you enjoyed it, and bravo for stepping out of your comfort zone.

  2. West coast is yas. :D

    I've been to Oregon and Washington before, but years ago. Went to Washington again more recently for a friend in Spokane, but didn't see the ocean.

    Travel is so bae though! Glad you're exploring.

  3. Sooooo cool, Skye! I love getting to go those places through your eyes!

  4. Oh, Sky, I cannot tell you how happy I am for you that you got to do this! What a blessing! And I've had the best time living through your adventure via your words and pictures. Thank you for sharing!

    You're such an inspiration doing this even with health issues. My own health problems hold me back so often, but I have to remember to keep trying to move forward, no matter what. Your bravery has really inspired me!

    I hope you have many, MANY more magical adventures throughout your life. <3

  5. Wow it seems like you had a great time! I'm so glad you got this opportunity! ^ ^ I haven't been to Oregon but I'm going on an adventure to Canada in February! I had my first plane trip by myself just two months ago so I understand how it's scary yet cool at the same time! XD

  6. Glad you enjoyed visiting my State!:)


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