Friday, August 30, 2013

A Writer's Return to Ashland

Four years ago I drove five hours south of Portland to a small town called Ashland. I'm pretty geographically ignorant when it comes to the state of Oregon, but I heard about this place from a friend who used to live there and entertain me with stories of the towns' beauty, it's welcoming atmosphere, and it's quirky cafes.

2009 was a difficult year for me, I had quit my full-time job in Los Angles and spent a few months traveling the world just the previous winter, so 2009 was the year I came home to a harsh reality of having no job and a diminished savings account.  By the time I went to Ashland, I was working two part-time jobs, and living in tiny dump of an apartment. The idea of international travel seemed beyond my reach, so I had to find other ways of satisfying my wanderlust. Instead of an international plane ticket, I decided to take as many road trips as my two jobs would allow. In almost all cases, I went by myself and stayed in hostels. My goal was to get out of the city and do something cheap, like write.

I stayed in Ashland four days in August of 2009, when it was too hot to sleep in a hostel with no AC, too hot to walk in Lithia Park, and I was too broke to eat at restaurants or spend too much at cafes. Even so, the town left a magical impression on me, and I wanted to return ever since.

This summer I had the chance to revisit some of my favorite spots and discover a few new ones. Not surprisingly, I found the town very unchanged and familiar, yet I am happily in a much different place in my life.

1. Best Place to eavesdrop on local's conversations:

  Noble Coffeehouse

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2. Best Place to get lost in your own thoughts:

  Bloomsbury Coffee House

Best outdoor patio in Oregon

3. Best Place to feel like it's ok to be a tourist.... sometimes:

  Boulevard Coffee

Lavender white chocolate mochas

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