Parker is one of those sparkly people that instantly makes an impact when you meet her. After graduating from the University of North Carolina a few years ago (go Tar Heels!), Parker and her husband took life by the horns and moved from Raleigh to Vancouver, B.C. to pursue their careers AND live in a place completely new and exciting. After a ton of adventures in British Columbia and beyond, they are now returning back to the East Coast to begin the next chapter of their lives.
Instead of flying, Parker and her husband Thomas are driving with their golden retriever across North America and have committed to practicing 5 yoga classes a week along the way (let's face it - they'll need to stretch their legs!) As they go, Parker is going to journal what it's like to relocate (again), sweat in different studios, their favourite new places and how it feels to finish off one goal and start living into the next one. Let's get road trippin'!
the first leg
As we crossed the border from Canada into the U.S., I could feel those pesky ‘water droplets’ making their way over my eyelids (aka tears). I reflected on the crazy life we created in Vancouver over the last year and a half that captivated my heart. Half of me believed our adventure was coming to an end, while the other half was already planning out my first southern meal in the land of sweet tea and shellfish.
To make our journey even more exciting, we have committed to sweating in every stop on our road to goal crushing. We began our drive down the West Coast to the first stop of our journey – a 525 kilometer drive (that’s 328 miles in American speak) to Portland, Oregon. Known for its breweries, famous coffee houses, and slow food centered restaurants, Portland is a destination for sensory overload. Our short stop in Rip City did not disappoint.
yoga, portland style
Through recommendations of our Vancouver yogi friends, we landed at Yoga Pearl, a stunning studio in the center of the Pearl District. On a street lined with artistic window displays and engulfed in the aromas of coffee houses, Yoga Pearl is a soothing hub.
We unrolled our mats in a small corner room with a few other Portlandians for a mid-morning Hatha class. True to Portland style, the class was intentional, unhurried, and grounding. The teacher knew each student by name and connected with us before class to learn our background and get the details on our cross-country plans. She greeted her other students – some of whom she hadn’t seen in a few weeks – and caught up on recent events of life. As I listened to the ins and outs of conversation, I felt the power of connection and a sense of gratitude. This wasn’t simply a workout facility with drop-ins and people passing by; this was a staple of livelihood, a gathering place for learning, and a center point of community.
Bound for our next adventure, we took one more stroll through the Pearl District and grabbed coffee at a local favorite – The Barista. I am so glad we took the chance to practice in this town - Portland's sense of community (and caffeine) will resonate with us for a long time. With the car packed to the brim and our mats in easy access, it’s time for another set of miles on the tires. Next stop, Redding, California!
Relocating to a new city is a big life shift: it can bring up a host of emotions (nostalgia, exhilaration, fear, hope and more). What big, scary and audacious things are you getting up to this year? In the meantime, keep an eye out for Parker's latest dispatch from the road to goal crushing!