So my August #microbucketlist included taking a spontaneous trip. It led me to this new, inevitable, commandments of cities I visit.
If you’d like a deeper dive into what the ‘commandments of cities’ I visit are you can check out this post.
Let me start with my original vision of taking a spontaneous trip. Here’s what happens…
I walk into MSP airport. I go straight to the departures screen. Find the first flight going out of MSP. Go to the ticket counter and buy a ticket into adventure.
What actually happened didn’t totally look like this. I posted on FB about my plan for a spontaneous trip and my friend SaraMae posted to my comments “I want in”. Well of course I wanna see her and it can be an awesome adventure WITH her, so we plan a weekend together in Portland. I’m gonna go out early and meet her there. I buy my ticket and now there’s a little bit of a plan to this spontaneous trip…
THE COMMANDMENTS OF PORTLAND
Drop in with intention
I knew this was my spontaneous trip for the Micro Bucket List. I still wanted to have a spontaneous experience, even though the dates and location were planned. On the plane to Portland I began thinking about what might happen. I created two intentions for the trip.
- Be open to adventure.
- Plan nothing.
The intention started from the moment I walked off the plane, unsure of how I would get into downtown. My adventure began. And it ended at the last commandment. Keep reading.
I will say with all of it. I followed my intention…and I got it.
Use fun transport
You might already know this. I’m not a fan of driving. So it was really fun to take the light rail from the PDX airport into downtown. Drop my stuff off at my unconventional overnight spot and hop on a scooter. These scooters are so awesome.
Excitedly they are also available in Minneapolis so it’s not just a Portland thing. I also grabbed rides from my Airbnb experience host, took a few Lyfts, walked…(always the best transport), and hit the light rail with my friend SaraMae.
We ended up in a few unusual areas, doesn’t that make it a bit more fun tho? Be creative with your transport.
Make how you get around fun. If you have your rollerblades with you, then rock it. (p.s. I was flying Spirit so didn’t bring the blades with me.)
I stayed at The Society Hotel and rolled out one night in their bunkhouse. This was an interesting hotel offering rooms and also bunks, but awesomely music on their roof top which I enjoyed with a cider I bought in their common bar area.
It was loud and at a few moments exposing, I still recommend the experience for anyone.
Then I rented a pod. Yup. A Pod.
It was the perfect cheap version of privacy.
SaraMae and I were able to order pizza to the pod. Laugh and giggle in semi privacy. This shift pod was set up in our very unique host’s back yard. We could walk in through the back door to use the bathroom. It was so different than staying in a hotel.
It was an adventure and also cozy for us.
You could go straight up unconventional and just bring a tent with you to Portland and set it up somewhere. This seems to be a totally reasonable thing people do in this city, so staying in a pod wasn’t too crazy compared to this option.
Here’s the thing…you can do a hotel. Or you can be unconventional and try something else on to have a new adventure. I say yes to it.
Let it flow
On my first day scooting around Portland I went to a fabulous noodle/bun place and met a couple peeps who were telling me about an awesome boxing place.
I mean, yes, I started talking about boxing. Why wouldn’t I? So I looked at the schedule and the next boxing class was in the wayyyyy early am.
I don’t wake up early. And I’d already scheduled a archery/mindfulness experience for pretty early (8:45am).
I wanted to go and I thought I’d let it flow. I set my alarm for 7:50am so I could make my archery class.
When I woke up on my own at 6am, I let it flow.
I brushed my teeth and grabbed a quick scoot over to the boxing gym. What happened next was full on FUN! An awesome gym, learning some awesome skills, scooting over the water back to shower quickly, grab a coffee and meet my archery teacher.
We took a mindfulness hike through Washington Park and rather than forcing anything we meandered and chatted about all the good spiritual things. We met the creator of a incredible garden, and walked with her as she told us about all the plants, taking as much of the time as we wanted to adore little details.
Every minute was precious. And flow.
Once we got to shooting targets with arrows and a bow, I wasn’t flowing. Until I switched arms. A new side was better. And still, I didn’t nail any targets with the rain drizzling, and the sky covering us in a beautiful cloud.
No target nailing. Still. All flow.
When you let it flow, it works. Even if you don’t hit your target. And still…
Hit the sweet spots
Here’s what the sweet spots look like. You notice something and wanna stop, and take a closer look.
So you do it.
You walk past a store and something calls you to it, you take a few steps back and walk through the threshold, rather than walking past it.
You want to try a new food, and you’re not sure so you check it out, it doesn’t feel right and you move on, ordering just the right food later…delivered to your pod.
You walk a few steps further to find the geocache you were looking for and fantastically find your first one after missing the others earlier in the day.
Sweet spots are when you have a ‘hut’ feeling. (It’s my friend Alex Franzen’s term referring to your heart and your gut working together: your HUT). Hitting the sweet spots is about listening to these feelings, and instead of moving forward, stopping and honoring them.
When you’re riding the rail and you have 8 more stops until you hit your ultimate destination, but decide to get off at the next stop anyway so you can walk a mile to see the most amazing mural you saw out the window riding past it, revel in it, take pictures, shoot a workout video, and then walk back to hop the next train coming your way, you’re hitting the sweet spots.
On my second day in Portland I tripped on faulty flip flops and faulty decisions.
I ended up with face, arm, and leg damage. I mean not horrible damage but my arms were tingling and it was bothering me.
Then on the third day there with SaraMae my foot started hurting. By the end of the day I was limping. On our final morning with lots of fun things in mind I stepped out of bed and couldn’t put any weight on my foot at all.
We went to brunch, I was barely moving on my foot. At brunch I looked at my friend, we had hours of spontaneous fun ahead of us…I said “I need to go to the airport right now”. We went back to our pod, grabbed our stuff and grabbed a Lyft to the airport. I didn’t know what would happen but I knew I needed to get off my foot even if it meant staying at the airport for the next 9 hours before my flight left.
I walked into PDX airport. I went straight to the departures screen. Found the first flight going to MSP. Went to the ticket counter and bought a one-way ticket home.
Completely aware of the irony. Completely willing to be spontaneous. Completely ready to get back to my own home after this awesome adventure.