I thought it would be a nice change of pace this week to go into a bit of my experience of getting accustomed to living in a city I had never even visited prior to my arrival at the end of May. Of course like anything you do for the first time, there are a bevy of emotions involved. You have the excitement and trepidation of the unknown, the general thought of how you think it will be as well as the uncomfortable notion that nothing is going to be familiar.
I have always considered myself someone that embraces the unknown, a key in my opinion, to being able to assimilate quickly to a new environment. Of course, the fact that Seattle is an amazing place to experience with its combination of amazing city life and your ability to remove yourself from it and get up into the beautiful mountains that surround the city, helps tremendously.
One thing that I have been able to do since arriving in Seattle that has helped me stay focused and positive is to not allow myself to sit around. Staying on the move and experiencing as much as possible has helped me keep my mind occupied with a sense of adventure instead of with some of the thoughts and feelings that come with boredom. Whether it’s going out and walking my dog a few times a day or stopping in at a restaurant that looks different and cool, I have been able to find at least one adventure to undertake each day since my arrival.
If you are not a person that has an easy time with stepping out of your normal routine I would pose to you one question: What are you afraid of? You could be missing out on something really special and life changing.
The fact that I have been able to be surrounded by adventures, outgoing and supportive people here at REI has only amplified my experience up here in Seattle. Just today I was confronted with cool ideas on ways to experience the greater Seattle area. These are the conversations that you need to partake in to find new ways to understand your surroundings.
As I head into the middle of my internship I have gained so many valued experiences from not boxing myself into any particular environment. Everything about Seattle and REI is new to me, and I want to get a very well rounded feel for this city, this company and the people that help create the unique atmosphere that comes with both. Success isn’t something that can be categorized into a grade point average, job offer or performance review. Only you know when you have started to realize success, and it comes in the form of your ability to feel like you are putting yourself in positions to experience your life in a way that fits who you are. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Seattle and at REI, and I am looking forwarded to seeing what the second half of my internship and summer have to offer.
I am an eight year veteran of the United States Army. I served my country as a Forward Observer during two tours – in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am a senior at the University of Arizona and will be graduating December 2016 with a B.S. in Retailing and Consumer Sciences. This summer I’m working as a Merchandising/Buying intern at REI’s corporate headquarters in Kent, WA.