The unfamiliar sounds of the wind between the buildings and cars bustling to office spaces I have only, but briefly known are drowned by the early morning sunlight. That rush of traveling to an unfamiliar place has diminished in recent years as my life has settled around my wife and daughter. They are where I never want to leave and that is where I feel most at home. On a recent trip to Portland, Oregon I was awakened to the rush of what I used to love about traveling to new places. The air, the sounds, and the feel of the pavement against my feet as I traveled along foreign avenues.

Though the best part of any trip is getting to spend time with a native of Portland and talking with them about the different sites to see and places to eat. I mean there’s only so much that you can get off Yelp recommendations for places to go or restaurants to eat at. I native of any city will tell you where the local dives are at and what truly worth your time. As we wandered the streets chatting about the layout of the streets and the aesthetics of the buildings I was brought to a bookstore that is a local and tourist location called Powell’s Books. They have plenty of locations all over the area, but this one is boasts about being the flagship with over a million books littered across it’s shelves. For a book lover this was quite literally a drool session with a mop bucket.

Unlike my dislike of travel, my love for books has never faded. Since I was a kid the fascination with words has been a part of my life. From that very first day when I was kid staring at the scribblings on the pages without a comprehension of what they meant to the day I graduated college the written word has carried me through some of the toughest and brightest days of my life. The kid at heart was rekindled in an unfamiliar city with pieces of what made my childhood great.

We can either choose to allow situations to dictate our moods or we can try to find the bright side of situations. At first I wasn’t completely thrilled to be traveling to Portland, but then again the moment I stepped off the plane I chose to make a conscious effort to find what joy I could from the trip to make it enjoyable. Despite my intentions of finding small moments I ended up finding a lot of good things to about the trip that I didn’t expect. We find joy when we are willing to look for it.