When I was younger and (more) foolish than I am now I used to believe that I couldn’t afford to travel. In retrospect that idea was ridiculous, but as an adult, aside from trips to visit family in Alberta and Saskatchewan, I didn’t travel anywhere until I was 21 and went to Seattle.

The idea to go to Seattle stemmed from a morning when I was home from work, and happened to come across a travel show on TV about Seattle. I’d only known Seattle as that city where the TV series Frasier and the movie Sleepless in Seattle were set, and where grunge music got started back in the 90’s. As I watched this travel show that fateful morning I realized several things. There’s a lot to do in Seattle. I could drive to Seattle from where I live (Edmonton) in just a day or two. It’s been 10 years since I’ve travelled outside Canada (for a family trip to Disneyland when I was 11). It’s time for me to take a vacation.

seattle skyline

The Seattle skyline from Puget Sound. I had always thought The Space Needle was right downtown, until I went Seattle and saw it wasn’t.

With that settled my friend and I made plans for our road trip to Seattle. We first drove to Vancouver, British Columbia and spent a couple of days there (I had been to Vancouver before, but my friend hadn’t). Then we crossed the border (back when you didn’t need a passport, but we got one anyway) and drove to Seattle.

Seattle – not just for insomniacs and Frasier fans

I loved Seattle. There was an excitement and freedom in travelling to a place I had never been to before. I realize Seattle isn’t the most exotic of places to many people, but for two girls traveling from Edmonton it was. We drove on the interstate, which I had been told would be filled with crazy drivers, but I’ve seen far crazier drivers at home. I know cross border shopping is popular for many Canadians, but Edmonton is an 800km drive from the nearest US city (Great Falls, Montana) so in Seattle we got to go shopping at US stores we had never shopped at before.

Seattle Experience Music Project

A birds-eye-view of The Experience Music Project, which is a great music museum, from atop of The Space Needle

At a restaurant on the pier we ate fresh seafood that tasted like the ocean (in the best way possible). We took a harbor cruise in Puget Sound where I learned I don’t have my sea legs (I was a little wobbly on that boat). We went to several of the tourist attractions in the city like the Space Needle, The Pacific Science Center, and the Experience Music Project (EMP). One thing we did miss out on was going to Pike Place Market, and it’s one of many reasons why I’d love to go back to Seattle one day.

That trip was almost 10 years ago, but I still remember so much of it. I’ve been to many other places since then, and I’ve grown as a traveller and a person as well. Still I have to thank Seattle, because it was this city that made me fall in love with travel.


Photo of Alouise at the Boeing Factory

Photo of Alouise at the Boeing Factory

Guest Author: Alouise Dittrick is a writer and travel enthusiast from Edmonton, Canada. She combines her passion for travel with her love for music, theatre, and festivals on her travel and performing arts blog Take Me to the World.