The Great Pacific Northwest - Joey Gaston

If you told me a year ago I would be living in Washington, I would be jealous of my future self. Six months ago when I came to visit the Pacific Northwest I still would have thought it was just a dream. Today, I sit in my new home in Tacoma, Washington pinching myself because it still seems unreal.

I have a lot of love for the Southeast, and growing up there it will always be my first home. I can say that I will miss the barrier islands of Coastal Georgia and the rolling Appalachians. As much as I loved growing up in that region I felt unchallenged.

As I have grown I have realized I wasn't very interested in normal activities and challenges and always sought out something bigger. I had figured out that I would only find fulfillment in doing the things I love and investing my time into communities that shared the same values.

Through years of searching, I had decided that the Pacific Northwest was where I belonged. It seemed to offer an adventurous community with its massive peaks and unforgiving shoreline. The amount of public lands of all different ecosystems offers some of the best "backyard playgrounds" in the United States.

Needless to say I have stumbled upon a new learning curve with climbing and fly fishing. The peaks are at altitudes my body isn't used to and the water is full of creatures that will make you think again about where you stand in the food chain. I'm excited to begin pushing myself in this new environment, and cant wait to dive headfirst into the communities here. Here's to pushing your limits and staying uncomfortable.

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