Next Stop Portland Oregon
My original stay in Alaska was supposed to last until October. However, unfortunately, due to the nature of my work, which is based online, when the internet started malfunctioning,
I had to book the next ticket out of Alaska to continue traveling around the world. Luckily for me, my brother had moved to Portland, Oregon at the same time I left Alaska, so after a phone call to him, during which I explained the situation, he agreed to let me stay in his studio apartment with him, his girlfriend and his son, Shadow (his dog) =) I would have to sleep on the floor, but I knew that nothing was going to stop me from taking the journey of a lifetime. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices for the bigger picture, and I was fine with that. Right after landing in Portland, I felt a profound sense of gratitude. So much of my stress was relieved, knowing that I could start working online…and being around civilization again didn’t hurt, either. My first day back, I went to the first yoga studio I could find to get back into my practice—something I had missed a lot due to the lack of studios whose classes aligned with my work schedule in Alaska.
Yoga and sunshine and even a haircut…I had missed it so much =}
That same week, I felt an immediate urge to give back to the city of Portland what it had given to me. I subsequently spent a few weekends at what is known as Potluck in the Park ( http://www.potluckinthepark.org/) . Potluck has been serving a free hot meal to anyone in need since 1991. Rain or shine, 52 weeks a year, we are feeding Portland’s homeless every Sunday at O’Bryant Square in downtown Portland. Four hundred to six hundred Portlanders do not go hungry on Sunday because of Potluck in the Park. The generosity of volunteers and donations from people like you ensure that our Potluck community can continue providing for those in need.
Portland has a motto, if you will, called Keep Portland Wired. I don’t know what it is about Portland but the city definitely has something. The end of the summer and the start of the fall season, the changing of the season, was something I had never experienced before. It was just beautiful. The huge nonprofit community is surrounded by people actively trying to help others in the community. They are also big on "Digital Nomads"—individuals like myself who travel around the world and who work online. The city has cool offices where you can rent space and work with like like-minded individuals
I had a great time in Portland; it was nice to reconnect with the city life. I had kind of missed that when I was in Alaska, but of course, the main thing I fell in love with in Portland was the abundance of nonprofits committed to making a difference in the community
Free Geek is a nonprofit organization other organization I had a chance to connect with, which began in Portland in 2000. Free Geek has two central goals: to reuse or recycle used computer equipment that might otherwise become hazardous waste, and to make computer technology more accessible to those who lack financial means or technical knowledge.
I had a chance to volunteer with free geek sorting out computer parts and on my way there had a chance to to take a picture holding Marijuana dispensary sign .
One thing I should mention is that Portland has decriminalized marijuana, which has created a number of job opportunities in the local economy. When I was walking to work one day I asked one of the guys holding the flyer to take shot for Facebook, he insisted that I instead would hold the sign and he would capture the shot so I am jumped at the opportunity. #SmilingTimes
My last week in Portland was a surreal time for me. I think that’s when it kicked in that I was leaving the United States with no idea when I would be back. Before I left, I had one last opportunity to give back, through Transition Projects Clark Center. Transition Projects delivers life-saving and life-changing assistance to some of Portland’s most vulnerable residents. Whether by helping a homeless veteran and her family find housing, sheltering hundreds of people each night with nowhere else to turn, or opening new pathways to employment, Transition Projects represents an invaluable part of Portland’s social fabric.
My next stop is India, where I will complete a life-long dream of mine: to get my yoga teacher training certification.