The Epic Move to Portland, and an Invitation to Meet Me in Person

The Epic Move to Portland, and an Invitation to Meet Me in Person


After nearly eighteen hours of driving through fog, darkness, endless stretches of pavement and windy roads through the mountains, we wearily pulled into the driveway of our new home in Portland, Oregon.

Ah, the feeling of solid ground. Words cannot describe how much I’ve missed you.

Two months of planning, packing, and organizing behind us and we’re now completely set up in the new basecamp.

The welcome we’ve received here has been incredible. The environment here is very genuine, down to earth and friendly — just our style. While I’ve had many great experiences in Southern California, I’ve been missing a place like this for a long time. For me, it’s a return to the Pacific Northwest (I lived in Seattle, Washing for several years). For Ev’Yan, it’s a change of pace she’s appreciating — quite literally — as people drive around 55mph on the freeways here instead of the typical 75-80 in Southern California.

I’m always telling people that the quickest way to change your life is to change your environment, and it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. There were several things tying me to California, with those out of the way and because my business is location independent, the start of 2011 was the right time to move.

I can already feel a shift in energy here and things feel more right. It’s hard to describe it better than that, but some things we really appreciate about Oregon and the Portland area are:

  • A focus on environmental consciousness and appreciation of the outdoors.
  • Humility. People don’t flaunt money and it’s considered bad taste if you do.
  • Friendliness. It’s more common for people to be generally interested in you and how you’re doing because they care, not just to be polite.
  • Creativity. While there was plenty of this in LA, the creative vibe feels different here. There seems to be less creativity for the sake of “Look what I can do” and more creativity as just natural self expression.
  • Weather. Yes, this may sound weird, but we were getting tired of not having seasons in Los Angeles. We actually enjoy the rain and variety in climate.
  • Community. Have you heard that Portland is the blogging capital of the world? I have a lot of business partners and friends in the area, and while online connections are great, it’s nice to have a circle of close-knit friends and partners in crime close by.

Live around Portland? Come hang out with me!

I was going to arrange a small meetup to get to know people in the area, but my friends Tammy Strobel, Sean Ogle and Tyler Tervooren were kind enough to let me piggyback on their get together.

So, if you’re in the area and would like to hang out, I’d love to meet you.

Where: We’ll be at The Lucky Lab on NW Quimby in Portland.

When: Thursday, February 17th at 7pm.

Who: You, me, and other fellow world changers.

Hope to see you there! And if you’re not in the area, I hope we get a chance to meet at Chris’s World Domination Summit in June!

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Comment & Add Your Voice

Sherrill Leverich-Fries February 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm

How exciting, Jonathan! Welcome to Portland…you’re gonna love it here :-)

I hope to make it to the gathering to meet you in person.



Jonathan February 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Thanks Sherrill. The welcome has really been incredible. I hope we get to meet too.

Eric Grey February 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm

I’m @pylonian on Twitter, btw…

I’m glad you made it here! The change of pace is usually what people love the most, at least at first. Once that pace becomes your own, things just get better and better, I think. So much opens up – and just wait until the summer. Free concerts & movies in the park, tons of creative expression all over the place, and plenty of woods, rivers and mountains to escape to when the city gets too hot. It’s just wonderful. So, welcome!

Unfortunately, I’ve got a family function on the night you’ll be hanging out. I’m also missing Chris’ summit because it’s during the lead-up week to my wedding. Darn! Hopefully another time…


Jonathan February 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Ah that’s a bummer that you won’t be able to make it out. I’m sure we’ll meet up at some point though. I find Chinese medicine fascinating and I’d love to learn from you at some point.

Cara Stein February 8, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I’m getting so jealous of all you Portland people! I’m eager to check it out when I’m there for the World Domination Summit. I’ll meet you then! It will be really wild to see all these e-friends and acquaintances in person–can’t wait!


Jonathan February 8, 2011 at 10:30 pm

It’s going to be awesome Cara. Can’t wait to meet in person!

Ethan February 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Congrats on the move Jonathan! Portland is a wonderful place and I wish you all the best in your new diggs!


Clayton February 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Hi Jonathan,

Welcome to Portland! I’ve just moved here myself about a month ago, but I’m really digging it here. Anyway, my girlfriend and I still only have 2 friends out here so far, so we’ll definitely be coming to the meet up :)

See you next week.


Jonathan February 8, 2011 at 10:29 pm

More the merrier. I hope we have some kind of reservations. Maybe I should ask Sean about that…

Dustin February 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Cool! You moved to Portland! I live right across the bridge in Vancouver (literally 2 minutes away). I’ll definitely by stopping by to say hello!


Sean February 8, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Looking forward to seeing you next week! Just remember what you wrote about the weather, 2 months from now when it’s still exactly like this you may rethink things!


Jonathan February 8, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Yeah, it will take some time to adjust. Looking forward to finally meeting you on Thursday!

Marc and Angel February 8, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Congrats on the move, Jonathan.

For Angel and I, we have our sites set on San Francisco. Although, this San Diego weather will be hard to give up.

Best of luck to you both. Hopefully we’ll all bump into each other someday.



Jonathan February 8, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I’ve found that if you love a place enough, the weather is a minor inconvenience. I laughed when I read that people in LA call the smog a “marine layer.” But it’s really true. Definitely not missing that.

From what I’ve heard San Francisco is awesome. I think you’ll love it there.

Nea | Self Improvement Saga February 8, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Congrats on your move. I know just how good it feels to start a new journey like that. I just moved from Tennessee to Minnesota 3 days ago. I’ll describe the moving experience as crazy beautiful.

Best wishes in your new home.


Jared February 8, 2011 at 9:43 pm

I’m really excited for you and Evyan!

Welcome home bro. I felt like that when I arrived in Seattle. Honestly… it’s just the beginning for you both.


Emilie February 8, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Jonathan! This post was so inspiring to read. I’m moving to Portland in June (using the #WDS as a catalyst. I bought myself a one-way plane ticket)! I decided to move there for all the reasons you named, plus a few others.

Anyway, please keep writing about your love for Portland because it makes me happy. :)


Jonathan February 8, 2011 at 10:26 pm

You’re going to love it here.

Tracy Chapman February 8, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Sounds great – I’ll definitely be there!!


Jonathan February 8, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Awesome! I’m looking forward to finally meeting you Tracy.

Jon Mills February 10, 2011 at 7:44 am

Hey Jonathan

Definitely a change of environment can really help. Would be interested to know what took you to Oregon specifically. I love California and would live there in a heartbeat… mainly for the weather. It’s pretty darn cold up here in Ontario Canada.

P.S Digging the website design, it’s been a while since I’ve been on your site but the color and layout is really good.



Laura Lee Bloor February 10, 2011 at 11:22 am

Congrats on the move! Wow, yeah, I guess Portland is the place to be! Will you be meeting up with Charlie Gilkey and Chris Guillebeau at all?


Justin February 11, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Portland is on my U.S. travel destination list.I hope to get there by the summer of 2011.It’s true about changing your environment to create instant change in your life. I didn’t know that Portland was the blogging capital of the world.


jonathanfigaro February 14, 2011 at 7:57 am

Never been ….have a safe trip.


Owen Marcus February 15, 2011 at 7:06 am

Welcome to the Northwest. I too love the four seasons. I know you will prosper here.


Alex Scoble February 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Darn, too bad I missed this, but I only just found this site, via a link from a friend on Twitter, today.


Ashley April 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I can relate to this so much (except for the actually settling in part). I grew up out there and want to move back ASAP. Been in NYC for about 7 years now. My GF is from the east coast and has never lived out there but wants to terribly.

I started a blog to support the effort: going to follow your tweets via the @moving2portland account.




AlannaStLaurent December 5, 2011 at 8:21 am

I have been trying to talk my sister into moving to Portland (from Michigan), and I forwarded your blog post for a little incentive ;). I have been there twice, and while no place is perfect, it seems perfect for me. Especially as a photographer I itch to get into nature to shoot the beautiful mountains and beaches. I am sure you will love it there!


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