Bellingham: a sneak-it-in work adventure

Well, I didn’t exactly plan for this, but today I ended up taking a 4-or-so hour bike adventure exploring Bellingham, WA, and it was quite possibly the best thing ever.


(find the real bike! Just one of many sweet little murals I ran into:)


I’m up here as part of an all-over-the-world work week, first in Seattle for a day, then up near Bellingham for two nights, then near Mount Vernon and then Seattle again, and home again Saturday night: 4 days of all-over-the-place work that I’m super excited about.

Since I’d never been to Bellingham but I’ve always wanted to go, I got it in my head that after my all-morning meeting here in the NW office today, I could take advantage of being close to hightail it over to the city (about a 35-minute drive away). That way, I could play while it was still light out: take my bike that I hadn’t even planned to bring with me but happily had anyway out of the work truck, and bike the hell all over the city.


(Whatcom Falls, plus a super awesome WPA bridge)


Best thing ever!! I’m not sure I stopped smiling all day. Almost immediately, I found the Whatcom Creek Greenway path, and Whatcom Falls, and then path after path after path. I’d stumbled upon the City of Bellingham bike map, so I had a sense of the city, though I also just sort of biked and turned where it looked interesting and figured I’d always be able to find my way back.

The whole thing reminded me of when I was in Seattle for work last time and took a mini bike adventure after a day’s worth of meetings, an adventure of only two hours that nevertheless made me feel like my whole day had been absolutely spectacular because of the overwhelming sense of discovery and exploration and fun I was left with. This Bellingham adventure was only about 4 hours, but man did it make my day. And when I got back to the office after it was dark (with a dinner I picked up at the Community Food Co-op, of course;), I got back to work and finished up what I needed to. This is how I’d like to do: play while it’s nice out; work while it’s dark.


(another awesome path south of Fairhaven somewhere)


It took some initial getting over the tacit social pressure to work during “normal work hours,” especially because my two coworkers in the NW office were plugging away up here and I basically ditched them after our meeting. But, like most things in life, it was definitely worth the initial discomfort involved in (or the perceived future pushback against) violating expectations. This is something I’ve learned in life: it is basically always worth it to push a boundary to do what you know will nourish your soul.


(the South Bay Trail to Fairhaven: best path ever!)


I’m thankful for the flexibility to move my work times around sometimes so I can do this kind of thing, and I’m thankful for bike-friendly places to explore. AND it strikes me that this is a great way to kick off 2019: a good blend of work and play, a sense of discovery, a sense of owning my life on my own terms, and getting to know a whole new-to-me place.

Best thing ever! I would love to come back to Bellingham with more time someday and really explore:)


  1. It’s like you went to all the places I go to when I’m in Bellingham. ;-)
    (though you didn’t go to Cafe Velo)

    • Ha! How unoriginal of me! ;) I didn’t notice Cafe Velo, though man I would love to go back and see a whole bunch of parks I saw on the map but didn’t have time to get to. And it’d be fun to have more time to play downtown. I’ll let you know if I know I’m going up again anytime and you can give me more recs:)

  2. Nourish the soul. Couldn’t agree more! My view from experience…if you want to be productive and helpful to others… you must take care of yourself and not feel selfish while doing it.

    • Woah. You couldn’t have known this, but your comment here was particularly prescient given things I’ve been thinking about lately. So much so I had that feeling of having to look over my back: how did he know?? heh. The balance of taking care of myself and feeling selfish is something I’ve been having a hard time knowing what to think about lately — so thank you, thank you for your thoughts:)

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