FIUTS Oregon Coast Global Getaway

Guest Post by Yuxuan Chen, FIUTS Facilitator and Student Board Member

After saying goodbye to the unusually snowy Winter quarter, 14 students headed on a trip to Oregon with FIUTS, to relax, to explore, and more importantly, to make friends with people from all over the world.

Photo: Tianyi Li

Photo: Tianyi Li

When we drove along a big river (the Columbia River), we started to realize, our neighborhood state, Oregon, was saying “Hello”. Hiking Multnomah Falls gave us a great view of the river and made us wonder whether it is just an incessant river, or a beautiful lake.

Photo: Arsalan Ahmed

Photo: Arsalan Ahmed

Portland, our first stop, helped us to slow down. Browsing through thousands of books at Powell’s, mediating at the Japanese Garden, stuffing one’s mouth with a Voodoo/Blue Star donut and playing cards at our hostel, Portland could be weird, could be quiet and could be fun.

 If Portland still possesses a bit of a city’s hustle and bustle, staying at Oregon coast would be a retreat, for the body and the soul. Seeking a lighthouse during rain was a trek. Playing Frisbee and volleyball at Cannon Beach was a workout. Watching cheese-making at Tillamook was full of temptation. Casually, stopping by the highway or at any beach, the Pacific was right in front of us. Taking a walk, drawing on the sand or taking pictures with the sunset, one could always find a way to enjoy oneself by being part of the nature along the Oregon coast.

Photo: Tianyi Li

Photo: Tianyi Li

We made connections among each other during the trip and what made it stronger was the unique opportunity to live in a vacation house all together. There were feasts we cooked by ourselves. There were late night talks that exposed our “secrets”. There were million of stars in the Milky Way above us waiting to be counted, and beneath that there was the bonfire, making S’more for us.

Photo: Shine Lin

Photo: Shine Lin

Crossing the Astoria-Megler Bridge should not be our farewell to Oregon. What the journey left for us are lifelong, cross-culture friendships, memorable experiences with FIUTS, and even highlights of UW life.  

As lead facilitators, we feel that our participants’ positive feedbacks are the most valuable rewards. FIUTS loves to have open-ended trips, because our participants are expected to explore the world in the way they feel like, so come join us!

Photo: Arsalan Ahmed

Photo: Arsalan Ahmed

Video: Xingyun Gao

Ellen Frierson