When you're young (and maybe when you're old too, I wouldn't know), people ask you where are the places in the world you could see yourself living. For years, I've had Seattle on that list...WITHOUT HAVING EVER BEEN THERE. I know what you're thinking, what a phonie, right? Well so was I. So I went there last month. And you know what: It's still on my list.

If I ever am to leave this great city of New York, sometime a long way from now, I can see myself here.

Here are some views I felt were worth stopping for.

The first and most noticeable thing was the pace. It's a little surprising that people so hyped up on (some of the best) coffee happen to be so relaxed. I had so many conversations with people I'd never met in before, for no particular reason or motive.

But what resonates the most from a week in Seattle is what I learned, or maybe even relearned about myself while there: I need to pay attention to my ideas. My passions. My need for rest.

I've wanted to go to Seattle for years. I've wanted to shoot photos for my own enjoyment, rather than for pay, for months now. But in a city and culture that considers business a virtue and an overflowing plate honorable, I've just made no room for such things. Since high school.

I'm thankful for my time away. I'm thankful for friends who help me understand myself. I'm looking forward to paying attention to some of my personal ideas and allowing them to form legs, knowing it'll make me better in the other things I do. 

Now to remove some things from the plate. Or as my friend Brian Moll says, 'say no to some things, so that you can say yes to others.'