Traveling “Zos Style” Part 1 (Seattle and Portland).

Here I present to you a four-part series where I share with you my journal from my travels. I travel a lot, so I thought I would start seriously blogging about it. Here we go!

The Wednesday before my expedition to Seattle, I ran a few last minute errands before I would embark on my journey. You see, not too many people that I know to travel the way I do. I am not stating that the way I travel is better, or that I am the only one who does this, but since I have traveled a lot on my own I have learned what kind of experiences that I want to have when I am abroad in a different city. As I took out 300 dollars in cash from the ATM, I felt a slight buzz in my stomach. But, the butterflies started to flutter even more as I removed all of my debit and credit cards from my wallet as I was packing.

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Pikes Place Market

Then I discovered that I was really nervous for my trip to Seattle. Despite always giving these constraints to myself, I do this for the cheap thrills that I can get. Going into a city with the mentality of being in survival mode really gets me going. I am a seasoned veteran of this grungy traveler philosophy and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but it is sure risky. This time was different because I had given myself many more constraints which lead to my nervous level to go up.

I had no place to stay, and I didn’t really know anyone in Seattle. I just had a flight and a destination. This is how I always roll. But, this was strange because I had never been nervous for an adventure before.

In order to do this, you have to create strategies, throw yourself out of your comfort zone, and stick to your routines. Pack 3 outfits, one to wear at the airport and two in your backpack. Granola bars, two tangerines, water bottle, and a vacation banh mi. Vietnamese sandwiches are clutch because you can squish them in your bag, and you can save it for emergencies for as long as possible, making it a great meal for survival purposes. I had my food, cash, and my paper and pen. It was time to get ready to embark on a great adventure; Zos style.

At 4 am I called a Lyft and I grabbed my small bag and headed out the door to the airport.

When I got off the plane, I looked at a map of Seattle. Yes, an actual paper map. This way, it makes it a real adventure, circling landmarks and attractions for destinations. This way by using a paper map, you can save a lot of battery power on your cell phone. Maps are also great for intel as they have small excerpts on where to go and what to do. It said that Pikes Place Market was the cat’s meow, so I hopped on a train that took me straight there. With 300 dollars only in cash, never I mean never pay for public transportation, this is me in manic thrill seeking mode. I have been caught before by transit security but this is when you play the dumb tourist and say, “Oh I didn’t know. I thought you paid after you got off the train. Sorry, I’m a dumb tourist”. The beauty of not paying is that I saw basically the entire city all for free.

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SafeCo Field, Home of the Mariners. 

When I saw Pikes market, it was nothing like I expected.

Not only was there fish, there was everything under the sun. People were throwing fish, selling necklaces, tomatoes, and anything you could imagine, even marijuana in some parts of the market. The market even had a few parks and ocean front views that were nearby. This was at eight in the morning as well, so my adventurous shenanigans all were about to begin.

As I was enjoying the oceanfront and mountains from a famous vantage point, I received a phone call from someone. It was my friend Shepard’s, Dad. I had never met him before. He said he was coming to get me and take me to him and that I was going to Portland, Oregon. The city of “Alternative Lifestyles”.

Well, this was a real turn of events.

During this time I became very confused, and within a half an hour I had called him back and forth about 12 times, trying to decide what my plan was to either get in a car with an old man that I’ve never met before or stayed in Seattle where I had to pay for hospitality. It was 8:30 in the morning and I had started my trip with a major panic attack that I had to absolve. The only thing that I wanted to do that day was to see the Mariners play so that I could check out Safeco field. I like to check out new ballpark in every city and Safeco was on the top of my list. After many phone calls, I had decided to take a chance to get in a car with a stranger that I’d never met who was my friends Father at 2 pm after the baseball game that started at noon.
Also by coincidence, a girl that I knew in Portland also called me to pick me up from Seattle to take me to Portland. I didn’t know any of these people very well, but I decide to go to Portland with a good attitude that I packed in my small bag. Either way, with whom I chose to take me to Portland, I was ready to go to a city that was on my bucket list.

The drive down Five was beautiful. I got to see the woods, mountains, and rivers. The best part was witnessing the small little lumber towns because I got to see what the infrastructure of these towns was like.

When I got to Portland, I quickly learned that this place was quite the alternative life.

Hipsters, local businesses, and strip clubs. That is what a lumber town brings. Quickly, I learned that this is how and what a town needs to be established. Jobs. Gold mining, oil drilling, wheat, but this was the land of lumberjacks.

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Arriving in Portland 

In only 2 days, I was able to walk the entire city with my battle backpack and only so little cash on hand. Oh, I do stuff like this all of the time to see how well I can survive in a foreign land because it teaches you perspective on living life. There aren’t really many times to test your street smarts, and that is why I like traveling like this. It is therapeutically exhilarating walking a city from one end to the other, turning around in corners, scavenging the bridges, walking along the river, into random businesses, and talking to random strangers. I gain so much intel about a city whenever I travel by talking to locals. If you want adventure, I got it.

But, this isn’t my full story.

Stay tuned for the other three parts of my journal from my trip, for I have a formula for finding adventure, that you all should really learn about.


“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

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3 thoughts on “Traveling “Zos Style” Part 1 (Seattle and Portland).

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