Seattle in Washington is a place very close to my heart. I accepted a job in 2008 which required of me to travel to Seattle for a year. I traveled to Seattle on Monday and returned back on Friday. For a travel novice, this was the worst situation ever. I remember sitting at San Jose airport feeling the pangs of fear and anxiety creep in me. I was scared of everything ahead of me. I was traveling alone for the first time ever and I felt naked sitting at that airport. My security blanket in my family was stripped of me. I wanted to run back to my family but I also desperately needed this job. I told myself to man up and deal with it.
The two hour flight was the longest of my life, longer than the 23 hrs I had traveled to reach United States from India. As we landed, I paid attention to every detail in the airport as I made my way to the taxi stand to get a cab to my work. I did not know much about Seattle. As we cruised through the city, Seattle felt amazingly comforting. The greenery around reminded of my home in Kerala, the rain drops sooth the nervousness out of me and engulf me with excitement. I pulled up the directions on my iphone just in case the driver was going to mislead me.
I reached my office, met bunch of new people and immediately it was time to go for lunch. The travel bug had not bit me yet, so as any new travel novice new foods scared me. My co workers decided to take me for my first sushi. I had never had sushi before. We walked into the restaurant and was handed a menu that could have been in Japanese. I ordered the most American thing on the menu- the bento box and was handed chopsticks. I had used chopsticks once in college, and I ended up feeding the person behind me as I tried to feed myself. I asked for forks and was teased by my coworkers who urged I eat with chopsticks.
My many trips to Seattle made me a better person. I went from a girl who had never traveled alone to being confident traveling alone. I learned to enjoy being with myself. Suddenly I did not need my friends and family to have fun. I learned to have fun alone. I conquered my biggest fear of eating in front of strangers. All through college, I made excuses when I was asked out by people because I feared eating in front of them- or I was too shy to do it. Seattle blossomed the travel lover in me, and for those reasons Seattle will always been special.
Stay tuned for my Seattle adventures in the following weeks!