Thoughts from the Editor: Bend, Sweet Bend

May 07, 2015

 “Living with fear stops us taking risks, and if you don’t go out on the branch, you’re never going to get the best fruit.” –Sarah Parish

As the well-known saying goes, while we can make plans, it doesn’t mean life will fall in lock-step. In fact, you may remember last year, I had put my house on the market and announced I was moving to Walla Walla, Washington. And as you may also know, that hasn’t happened yet.

However, I refused to give up. I refused. Something, a very big something, continued to tickle me and urge me to keep trying as I knew my life needed a change, but this time I reached a little higher, took an even bigger risk and well, now, I am pinching myself.

If you’ve never heard of Bend, Oregon, the most central town in Oregon, let me briefly explain why I fell in love with it as a child, and even when my attention waned as a young woman, never quite forgot how comfortable and splendid it was. Situated at the foothills of Mt. Bachelor and surrounded by endless outdoor activities, it has grown tremendously in the past decade. With a bustling downtown, all-types of restaurants and artisanal bakeries galore, Bend offers the small town feel in a town of 80,000 and growing. From breweries to bookstores, kayaking runs to walking trails for you, your dogs, a bike and who knows what else, it blends what I love most about my two most traveled to towns/cities in Oregon (Wallowa County and Portland) into one location.

But why am I sharing this with you?

Well, I am thrilled to share that I have been given the opportunity to teach English at one of Bend’s high schools starting this coming fall. Yep, you heard me right. That means, TSLL will be rooted in Bend, Oregon, as soon as this summer.

One of the reasons I am ecstatic about this new life adventure is that I am  always trying to exemplify what I share on the blog – how to live simply luxuriously – chase your dreams, be willing to practice patience, and refuse to stop believing. With the beginning of this adventure, in one way I am at the end of the culmination of creating a simply luxurious life because a career goal of mine has finally come true with regards to teaching, but on the other end of the spectrum I’m just beginning to create a simply luxurious life – from scratch. And I cannot wait to take you along with me as I travel along on my journey. In other words, I will be demonstrating how to live a simply luxurious life – how to make a successful move, how to navigate, how to establish yourself in a new locale and much, much more.

While I know a little about living in Bend, I have much more to learn, and I am under no misconceptions that I will make mistakes and have struggles along the way. But you better believe, I am excited to get started. Hey, if Julia and Paul Child ventured through it on their cross-country road trip to determine if they would be suitable to be married (granted it was a lot smaller in the 1950s), I think there might just be a bit of magic in its air. And I’m going to find out. Here we go!

Alongside me as I go will be my boys as you might imagine – Norman and Oscar – and with Bend being a doggie heaven-on-earth, I am confident this is an ideal move for them as well.

Of course this means my house is back on the market, but not without a few luxurious upgrades. Have a look at the changes below and click here to see the entire tour of TSLL house.

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Images: (TSLL IG)



28 thoughts on “Thoughts from the Editor: Bend, Sweet Bend

  1. Shannon, this sounds ideal for you! Congratulations on your new position, I’m sure you will be missed by those in your current school but what a great opportunity for you. The photos look like the rural America I have always imagined, perhaps I might even seen you there one day.

    The last chapter of my very favourite novel in the world, Anne of Green Gables is called “The Bend in the Road” and I think it applies to both your new hometown’s name and your journey.

    “When I left Queen’s my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend, Marilla. I wonder how the road beyond it goes–what there is of green glory and soft, checkered light and shadows–what new landscapes–what new beauties–what curves and hills and valleys further on.”

    1. Rose, I too love Anne of Green Gables and was introduced to her via the films, and still need to read the books. You have no idea how much sharing that quote means. So much of Anne’s character is an inspiration and those words are yet another reminder as to why. Thank you very much my friend. And yes, you would adore Bend. 🙂 I would love someday for you to visit.

  2. Congratulations on your new teaching position! I enjoy your blog and podcast immensely and I am excited for you as you begin this new adventure.. Thank you for sharing your SSL with us.

  3. Congratulations, Shannon! How wonderful to see you spreading your wings and soaring higher than even you had initially thought! I has been such fun and inspiring journey with you over these years. I look forward with great anticipation to these new adventures! Michelle

  4. Many congratulations!! The photos you posted of Bend are so very beautiful – what an enriching atmosphere to start your new TSLL! Enjoy every day – may the good days always outweigh the not-so-good. Can’t wait to hear about it. 🙂

  5. Congratulations! I vacationed around Oregon for a while one summer, and it was absolutely beautiful. Most of Oregon is, but it’s a beautifully situated community with surprising access to music venues, food — it was just wonderful. I love your sense of style; looking forward to seeing what you do with the place. 😉

  6. How exciting! I am so thrilled for you! The pictures look stunning! What an ideal place to live! Congrats! Best of luck!

  7. Shannon, how exciting! As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” Sounds like life was working it all out in your favor! Cheers to a new chapter. xoxo

  8. Congratulations on this new adventure/chapter in your life! Looking forward to following the journey. Thank you for sharing your story – you are inspirational!

  9. Congratulations on your new adventure. Moving, with all its trials, is also one of lifes great adventures. I look forward to hearing about it on the blog and in the pod casts.

  10. Congratulations Shannon, how exciting! I am very much looking forward to hearing about all your steps along the move.
    -Carrie

  11. Drake Park is breathtaking! Your house is inviting and charming. I love the way you’ve decorated it. I love seeing your sweet dog in a couple of the photos. 🙂 How exciting! Congratulations on your wonderful new life ahead!

  12. Congratulations, Shannon! The scenery is breathtaking. I bet the bookstores are cute and quaint. I will be thinking of you this fall, teaching English in such a beautiful place. You are such an inspiration and I’m looking forward to reading about your new journey.

  13. Congratulations, Shannon! I’ve never been to Bend but it looks absolutely stunning! From what you described, it almost feels like it’s got some of that Gilmore Girls ‘Stars Hollow’ feel, which is fantastic! Your house right now is beautiful too so whoever moves in will be very happy and lucky! 🙂

    I’m also a big fan of putting our fears aside and going for our big dreams. I think you hit it spot on when you said sometimes that includes being patient and perseverant. While I do think inspired action is a good thing, I think sometimes our society thinks that it’s all about you having to “make things happen” when you have a big dream. Sometimes it’s about harnessing the power of intention and letting the universe guide us on the path that is best for us to get to that dream, and working with divine timing.

    I can’t wait to read about your new adventure! xo

  14. Congratulations! I have family that moved from Chicago to Bend. They love it. I’m sure you will too! You may even have my nephew in one of your classes!

  15. I am so excited for you and can’t wait to take the journey with you. I found your blog a year ago when we decided to do the SAME thing, We have given up our big house in the city/suburbs of DC to move to the mountains/woods of West Virginia. We cut our living space from 2400 to 1250 SQ feet. We took the last year remodeling the WV home and upgraded everything. We made the mistake of downsizing once before and didn’t upgrade. We were miserable. Our new house is perfect – all the luxuries we want (and work for) and just the right amount of space. This is living. I can’t wait to share this new life journey with you and see what you do with it! You inspire me everyday to live the simply luxurious life.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your journey! The idea of living well, but in less space is truly at the root of living simply luxuriously. I look forward to sharing each step with you and all TSLL readers. Thanks for stopping by!

  16. Hi Shannon,really pleased to here your fabulous news about your new job and home move.You deserve it.Im sure Oscar and Norman will love it to.Will be following your progress on TSLL.Best wishes.

  17. congratulations on the new job! It’s wonderful to see good things happen to good people.
    Bon chance!

  18. I’m a new reader to your blog, and I love it. You are helping me immensely with your words. Congratulations on your new position and new location. I’m sure you will love it. Reading your blog feels like going down memory lane for me. I lived your life in my 30’s and 40’s and was very happy being single, owing a home very similar to yours. I even had two cocker spaniels that I loved dearly. I took off on an adventure and have now found myself married and in New England and also happy with that choice at this point in my life. I will visit Bend soon, as it looks beautiful and may be a good place to retire. Best wishes to you, Shannon.

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