How Visiting Seattle Changed My Life
Traveling is my therapy, my source of comfort in a world where so much is uncertain. When things around me start to feel out of control, I find solace in exploring new places. Amid a personal crisis, I recently escaped for a weekend of visiting Seattle, which had come highly recommended by friends. They told me I was in for an amazing time, but I had no idea just how right they were. Visiting Seattle healed my spirit in a way I never realized I needed, and it all started with a cup of coffee.
I know, it’s pretty cliché to start my story of visiting Seattle with coffee. A German pal of mine had recommended Kaffeeklatsch to me when I told her about my weak spot for strong coffee and homemade pastries. She said it was the only place in the Pacific Northwest that gave her a true taste of home and that if I was ever in the area, I had to stop in. Thank goodness she was so insistent because I would have missed out on a true treasure!
I was greeted by the sweet, delectable smell of fresh pastries and the warm smile of the barista behind the counter. My first day in town, I felt like I stuck out as an obvious tourist but my self-awareness soon evaporated. The barista, who I later learned was one of the owners, treated me as if I were an old friend. She helped me pick a pastry (all the names were in German — she taught me to say a few but not to spell them!) and order my coffee before I made myself cozy in front of the window to people watch. It was as if the entire neighborhood knew each other! Everyone smiled and acknowledged passersby, even offering me a wave as I caught their eye. The owner even came to my table to ask how I liked everything and inquire about my visit to the city. It was official: Seattle had welcomed me with open arms!
One of my favorite ways to explore a new city is to simply start walking. Despite Seattle’s reputation for rain, it was a beautiful day; there was a crisp breeze from the water but the sun shone just enough to keep you warm. No matter where I looked, there was stunning beauty. The skyscrapers of downtown were offset by snow-capped mountains in the distance. The smaller neighborhoods had ivy-lined houses and massive elm trees that stretched into the sky with ease.
I was almost overwhelmed by the splendor. I hadn’t realized how jaded and cynical my situation had left me. I’d become so engrossed in my disappointments that I realized I was missing out on life all around me. The world was bigger than me and my petty problems — with children playing freeze tag in the park and elderly couples taking an afternoon stroll with serene smiles on their faces, it was clear there was much more to life than all the things I was stressed over.
My last night in town, I decided to visit one of the city’s hidden gems: The Backdoor at Roxy’s. It was truly as if I’d stepped into a time machine! Still flying solo and feeling insecure, I decided to fight my inner shyness and introduce myself to a group of UW students nearby. They quickly adopted me as their own and we chatted about everything from the city to art to pop culture. The bartenders and servers seemed to truly enjoy creating an atmosphere and everyone was happy to indulge in the illusion. As I had since my first morning, I felt right at home in a city I’d only known for a couple days.
Visiting Seattle gave me the perspective I needed and so much more. The vibrant culture of the city and people was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. I was so inspired by my visit and in love with the city that I’m even thinking of moving there! Whatever the future holds, I’ll be forever grateful for the new lease on life Seattle gave me.
Note from Honest to Goodness Chef Team: We agree with Catherine! We love that we live in such a beautiful place and can explore Seattle on a daily basis to serve our clients with the best of the Northwest. The diverse cuisine here and abundance of fresh ingredients allows us to showcase our best in cooking delicious home-style meals every week and for home entertaining occasions too!