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February on the West Coast

I don't usually travel for work so when the opportunity arises to go somewhere new, it's still fresh and exciting to me. However, I quickly realized that it wasn't as glamourous as I had anticipated.

I was actually really looking forward to seeing Vancouver again -- specifically, the beautiful scenery and delicious foods -- but in reality, I only got to see the office and my hotel room (not that those weren't nice in their own way). On Friday, I managed to squeeze out two hours until my train down to Seattle and I was determined to make the most of it. So I picked up my luggage and trekked out into the signature west coast rain.

Telus Garden

I found myself alternating a lot between my phone and camera, partly due to the fear of rain getting on my camera, but also feeling the need for a wider lens for the architecture shots. It's really amazing how good phone cameras are getting nowadays and it's a good reminder for me to stay grounded to the photography and not get caught up in the gear.

Walking alone shooting street and architecture photography always tends to put me in a certain mindset. It's a peaceful tranquil feeling, and it shifts my perspective the world to almost a child-like wonder, being drawn to sharp lines and bright colours.

doesn't get any brighter than that

this fun building! 

Seattle was more of the same rainy weather, although I've been told by everyone that's the authentic Seattle experience. I did manage to get some more variety in my photos though, with a few portraits and food photography as well.

very appropriate graffiti  

kitties at the cat cafe

such beauty!

our super sweet waitress

food pic from my Instagram story

bouquet at tea shop

all of the teas!

Having only the day, I followed my local guide Eliza to the cute and yummy places she thought I'd appreciate (knowing how food motivated I am), and saved the typical tourist places (Space Needle, Amazon/Microsoft, museums etc.) for next time. There's a small part of me that wishes I got to see more but I knew that this trip was more to see her than to see Seattle. There'll be plenty of other opportunities to play tourist later.

We did get to go to the Pike Place Market which came strongly recommended by everyone I talked to, as it was still food-related in addition to being a popular tourist area. It was filled with people but I managed to take some non-crowded photos as well as try the most delicious Russian pastry (Piroshky Piroshky).

Pike Place Market

glancing down the gum wall -- it was truly disgusting 

inside of the market

fluffy doggo friend

gloomy rainy skies

Flying again proved to be the most frustrating part of the whole trip, easily far worse than being rained on or squished between tourists.

I don't think of myself as a particularly angry or hateful person, but I believe there is a special kind of animosity for any entity that stands in the way of you being able to go home. It's a common theme used in many epics and sagas -- the hero, after going off on an exciting adventure, has to battle monsters and demons to return home to their family. And I'd like to say I was the hero in my story, filled with purpose and drive, but in all truthfulness, all I felt was this numbing sort of anger. It radiated out from the pit of my stomach and I could feel the surface of my skin tingling and buzzing, like an old school TV right after you turn it off, still static-y and warm.

When I finally collapsed into my own bed after the aching 23-hour long journey, I am not ashamed to say I cried myself to sleep. I didn't feel like a hero. I was just a weary traveler. And it was such a relief to be home.

Moral of the story: a business trip is for business, but if you're lucky and/or plan for it, you maybe can squeeze in some sightseeing and adventuring.

Also O'Hare is a death trap and United is garbage.

Safe travels everyone.


  1. Well, that cleared some clouds in my head! What a fantastic way to share your journey. I really enjoy so much more about photography! Thanks for the great content!

  2. Nice photo shoot taken, that could be helpful for other peoples. But need to photo retouching work done for professional looks.

  3. What I have loved about your photos is your photographic angle, really amazing. You are really a talented photographer, the image focusing and background blur is really good. One thin I must say is that you take food photos very good. You can try food blogging, the way you have captured the dishes is very amazing.
    Best regards

  4. You are an amazing photographer Kzhangling, and you deserve every bit of success that you have had this year. I hope that 2019 is even more amazing for you and exceeds your wildest dreams. I am grateful to know you and learn from you photography my friend.

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