We’re heading into another weekend, which can only mean one thing — it’s time to learn about another hometown from an interview with a local. This week, we have the lovely Kay telling us all about Portland in Oregon, USA…

1. Could you tell us a little about yourself and where you come from?  

Sure! I’m Kay! I’m a little weird, but most of my brain cells are still intact. I was born in the greatest state in the USA – CALIFORNIA! I come from a suburb of Los Angeles, and I was raised there for the majority of my life. Growing up, I also lived in Georgia, Alabama, and in an Air Force base near San Francisco. Now, however, I live in Oregon, USA. I moved here almost eight years ago (omg, has it really been that long?!?) for university and after finishing a couple of degrees, I moved to Portland, Oregon!

2. What do you love most about your hometown?

Uhhh hahaha. WELL. As a Californian, I talk a lot of trash about Oregon, but honestly it’s a beautiful state. And the weather is PERFECT during the short four (ish) months of summer. I think I love Oregon summers the most, because that’s when you can really explore and enjoy all of the wonders of the Pacific Northwest. I’m talking gorgeous coastlines, sand dunes, mountain ranges, hot springs, rivers and valleys, fields of wildflowers and hundreds of waterfalls.

3. Is there anything that frustrates or annoys you when tourists visit Oregon?

Nothing really annoying or frustrates me about tourists (maybe because I’m a Portland implant myself so who am I to judge), but there are a few things tourists will get playfully teased about from most Oregonians. Like:

  • Your pronunciation of Oregon – please don’t say Or-E-GONE.
  • If you use an umbrella – the Pacific Northwest has Nike, Columbia, REI, and countless outdoor brands. Pick up a rain jacket. (though I still use an umbrella ‘cuz I’m not about that life)
  • If you try to pump your own gas – DON’T DO IT. A gas attendant will do it for you. It’s the law.
  • If you’re from California – there’s a lot of…tension between Oregon and California. Just gonna leave it at that.

4. In your opinion, which places should be at the top of any visitor’s wishlist in Oregon?

Oh! Okay, so my topppp four places in ALL of Oregon would have to be:

  1. Crater Lake – It’s the deepest lake in the United States.
  2. The Oregon Coast – I spent the first few days of 2018 driving down the coast and there are so many breathtaking views. I think my favorite city as a whole though was Yachats, OR.
  3. Smith Rock – It’s one of the State Parks and it’s a good way to spend the day. You can also visit the Painted Hills of Oregon (a short drive away), but they are less exciting in my opinion.
  4. The Columbia River Gorge – It’s a stretch just an hour outside of Portland filled with waterfalls (the iconic Multnomah Falls is here!) and stunning vistas.

5. What foods must visitors eat when in Portland?

Well, at least for Portland, I think Voodoo Donuts is the staple. It’s not very good, but it’s tongue in cheek and looks good on Instagram I guess haha. There’s also Pok Pok, a food cart that was so popular it became a restaurant. But yanno, food carts are big here so you could just pick one, but I personally don’t have any favs. Oh! And the Grilled Cheese Truck and Montage are great places to feel the weirdness of Portland. If you need a FANCY dinner, Portland City Grill (great view of the city), El Gaucho, and Le Pigeon are my favorites.

6. What’s your favourite word in your local language? Why? What does it mean?

Kombucha. It means family.

7. What advice would you give to somebody moving to Portland?

Buy a rain jacket, hiking boots, and a chicken coop.

8. If you could describe your hometown in just one sentence, what would you say?

I could do it in one word. Weird.

9. If tourists were to know one thing about the culture of Portland or Oregon, what should that be?

Portlanders revel in the weirdness, but Oregon as a whole state is very outdoorsy. It’s all about being green and exploring nature and getting outside. Also, beer and microbrews are HUGE for the state’s culture. Oh, and strip clubs for some reason.

10. Do you have any interesting traditions that you’d like to tell us about?

Every year in Portland, there is an annual Naked Bike Ride. It is literally exactly what it sounds like. Hundreds and hundreds of participants, of all ages. #stayweirdportland

Thanks Kay – we’ve loved getting to know you and Portland (and Oregon) better!

If you want to hear more from our Portland local, head on over to her blog: The Awkward Traveller, or check out her Facebook and Instagram.

Did you love this interview? Share it around now!

Through The Eyes Of A Local: Portland, Oregon

2 thoughts on “Through The Eyes Of A Local: Portland, Oregon

  1. Kay says:

    Wow what a wonderfully interesting person! Oh wait….dat me!! Hahah kidding. Thanks again for the interview, its really my pleasure and i am humbled for such an amazing opportunity!

  2. Alyse says:

    This is great! I’ve met a few people from Oregon and it sounds like an interesting place to visit. The pronunciation though, the people I met said it like Oh-reh-gon rather than Or-E-Gone. I’m guessing the former would be the correct way?

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