One of the things I’m making a point to do in the first few months of living in Seattle (which is also something I would recommend to anyone living in a new city) is getting out to explore and try new things. Seattle has so much to offer as a city (more than anything I’ve previously experienced) and I really want to take advantage of that in the best way possible. It’s been helping me feel more connected to the city and is helping me find a sense of place and purpose here, besides being a UW grad student.
The most recent experience out in the community I’ve had in Seattle was at the Northwest Tea Festival last weekend. A few weeks ago, I was in a sandwich shop and noticed a poster for the festival, and KNEW I just had to attend–I love tea and cannot go a day without it. The poster promised tea samples, informational and educational sessions, and plenty of tea products to peruse and purchase. I couldn’t wait.
After reading through all of the tea tasting sessions and educational sessions, Nick and I decided that Saturday would be a great day to visit. When Saturday morning rolled around, I pulled on my best teacup sweater (a birthday present from my mom) and hopped on the bus to Seattle Center, where the festival was occurring. After paying the $10 admission fee (a small amount considering the amount of tea we sampled, the free reusable shopping tote, and the free porcelain tea cup that we received), we entered the main room of the festival, which was essentially an expo where tea vendors of the Northwest could sample and sell their goods.
It’s safe to say that we sampled pretty much everything the place had to offer! There was so much tea to be consumed and enjoyed. I learned so much about tea leaves, tea preparation, and the tea culture of the Northwest (it’s about as popular as coffee out here!). I took note of some tea houses to visit, and even bought some DELICIOUS black tea from India to enjoy for months to come (provided it lasts that long, of course!). What a wonderful experience!
Get out and experience new things where you live, whether you’re a newbie or a local! One of my favorite things to do is to Tripadvisor my own city and see what recommendations it has for visitors to your town. Read the newspaper, follow websites that detail the happenings in your city, do something different you’ve never done before! Explore your home as though you’re a visitor; it may surprise you–you may find where you live is fresh and exciting, even if you’ve lived there forever.