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Hi! I love your spirit, and that you listen to your gut to see this as an opportunity to move on. I really believe that if an idea is in your heart, its meant to be pursued.I wish more people lived out loud, like that! You are an inspiration.
I have only spent vacation time in OR, but the mountains are amazing, and the farmland, vast. The ocean wild, and the people individualistic. There are small cities with very active university life, culturally exciting. We spend time in Hood River, on the Columbia R., north. Its at the cut through in the Cascade Mts. where the best wind-surfing happens, thanks to the wind tunnel effect, there.
Portland is a very open, funky city! You'll be so glad you went to OR, I am sure of it.

Thanks, Nancy! Although, really, I feel like I'd have been more of an inspiration had I listened to my gut ten years ago instead of lolly-gagging until now. But (hopefully) it's never too late!

Mountains and oceans are two things we definitely don't have here in Michigan. I've been around both in my travels, of course, but I've never lived by either. I'm excited about the mountains, but the ocean has me a bit nervous. I just can't shake the feeling that I'm back on the food chain every time I step foot in the water...

Definitely listen to the foot feeling re: the water. Always better than trying to deal rationally. Your gut may be on delay, but you're catching up, it seems. It is never too late! I did not listen to my gut re: marriage, but figured it out, eventually. My "inner" self taught me to simplify my expectations, not lower them. Life's much easier, since.
Somehow, I find real peace in barren, mountainous areas. Headed to Montana, this summer. You'll love the Cascades.

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