Author’s Note: Welcome to Hillsboro@20, a weekly recount of my thoughts and experiences as a 20-year-old living in Hillsboro, OR. In this first installment, I discuss my heightened appreciation for my hometown. So take some time and enjoy the read.
Where I lived never concerned me. As a kid, I was content with my home. Everyone I knew lived here or not far from the area.
The idea of living elsewhere never crossed my mind.
That is until I left for college.
This new environment exposed me to an array of people of varying backgrounds. As I bonded with my classmates, I gained insight into their pasts and experiences, including the details of living in the places they call home.
I learned of life in the Mile High City of Denver, trekking foothills with friends on the weekends; the Big Sky Country of Montana, raising cattle on a family-owned ranch spanning hundreds of acres; the Golden Coast of Southern California, surfing and sunbathing every day of the week; and the Last Frontier of Alaska, summiting snow-capped mountains after the school day, just to name a few.
I became intrigued with this vast assortment of lifestyles and their corresponding opportunities.
While I did not grow particularly envious, I did begin to question if where I had called home for the past 19 years was the best fit.
It’s a difficult question to ask oneself. One that could seemingly only be answered by truly experiencing each lifestyle. For obvious reasons, this was not a viable course of action for obtaining a solution.
Fortunately, one soon revealed itself to me.
When I traveled home for Thanksgiving break that year, I realized the beauty of my hometown and the assortment of opportunities it uniquely offers.
In my case, skepticism had led to an open mind. I was finally able to truly embrace what the city has to offer.
Immediately upon my return, I began to appreciate the color of the landscape like I never did before; at the time, fall-flushed forests of fir, oak, and maple trees, sights many other places lack with their absence of seasons.
Additionally, my understanding of the variety of natural features encompassing our region became increasingly clear; from my house: a mere one mile to the closest river, seven miles to the hills outlining our valley, 10 miles to a lake, 45 miles to the coast, and 70 miles to a mountain. These neighboring features not only contribute to the natural attraction of home but provide endless outdoor recreational opportunities for spirited individuals like myself.
Hillsboro residents can go kayaking, hiking, boating, fishing, surfing, skiing and so much more.
I am grateful for the initial doubt I felt toward my hometown, as it has ultimately provided me with the clarity to fully appreciate it.
With views that soothe my soul and activities that fulfill my ambitions, the city of Hillsboro has swiftly revealed itself to be a great fit for me.