Saying Goodbye to the PNW: Memories of Manzanita, Oregon


This is an excerpt of a piece that was originally published by Nouvelle Vague. Click here to read the article in full.

In May of 2016, I decided it was time to step away from Vancouver, BC for a while and relocate to Australia. After accidentally staying for ten years when I had originally planned for two, I figured it was about time to get started on all of those grand adventures I thought I’d have had by now. The seven months following my decision were then so bittersweet, as everything felt like the last time.

Because I’m tacky, there tends to be an ABBA song that fits to every phase of my life. And this break-up with the Pacific Northwest is no different.

“Breaking up is never easy, I know, but I have to go.

Knowing me knowing you, it’s the best I can do.

I’ve taken my sweet time saying goodbye over the last year—to the places who have made me and the people that have given me so much.

Since 2012, I’ve been making frequent trips to Manzanita with various groups of other weekend warriors. The routine is set—we shuttle down by the car-full on Canadian holidays to get away from the Tofino crowds, up to 15 of us per house, and settle in for a weekend of exceptional communal cooking, hot tub marathons, and surfing.

In April of 2016, I spent 10 days driving and camping on the Oregon coast, climbing the dunes in Florence, revelling at Thor’s well, and ultimately spending Easter in the house with a lovely, musical, motley crew of friends. To say it was emotional might be an understatement as I’m a terrible sap and knew this was the last time I would be there for a very long while. As such, I was flooded with memories from the years before. Memories of a lot of firsts, watching a lot of friends have their firsts, and lots of birthdays and holidays spent on the beaches.