One refreshing weekend later and suddenly my spring break was cut short. No, there wasn’t a family emergency, but a family trip instead. I was set to go sleepless in Seattle March 26 to April 1 with my broadcast family for the sixteenth annual Student Television Network (STN) conference. The adventure began at 2 a.m.
Squished between two strangers in the last row of the United Airlines Flight to our connection in Chicago O’Hare Airport, my patience slowly weakened. In total, both flights (Miami to O’Hare to Seattle) lasted over six hours. As an infrequent flyer I felt stressed out and well, very squished. However, once we landed in Seattle, the woes of air travel paid off.
Seattle is a beautiful city. Built like a mix between a UFO and a clean New York City, Seattle truly looks out of this world. Amazon headquarters set up giant glass orbs where plants could grow and dogs could play. On every corner friendly faces set up welcoming shops. Everything seemed to be in favor of helping the environment and reducing waste — cups were produced from biodegradable plastic made from corn, filtered water was available for everyone to fill up their reusable bottles and dryers were present instead of hand towels. The city evolved to work against an impending environmental crisis yet still lived their lives unaltered. I was flabbergasted. With so much discussion in local and federal politics about how tough it is to change city’s way of living to be less detrimental, it never occured to me that there were cities out there actually fighting the status quo and thriving.
Pike’s Place, an iconic Seattle staple, proves the perfect backdrop for photos. They throw fish in the air and sell flowers out of bins in this beautiful area. (Photo/Jeremiah Bang)
Now I’m inspired by Seattle’s bustling yet clean streets and want to move their practices to the rest of the world. If you want to make your city and world cleaner too you can donate to environmental organizations like Friends of the Earth or the now well-known Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. Beyond that, you can participate in climate marches such as Zero Hour and stay vocal in legislation created in your local governments. For more simple actions you can stream Lil Dicky’s “Earth,” a song that sends its funds to help its namesake. Finally, just go crazy researching, the more you know, the better you will be able to make changes like Seattle did.
After getting inspired in the streets, I needed to grab some boba. Seattle has boba tea within a five minutes radius of wherever you are in the city and there was no way I wasn’t taking advantage of that. So, at least three taro boba teas later, I adventured throughout the city. Sure, big name brands have taken over Seattle, but mom and pop shops still stayed present and successful. Everyone in the streets cared for one another; there was a quirky sense of family in the 60 degree wind.
At each of our nationwide stops, we made sure to capture the moment, whether it be on our cell phones or professional cameras. Hit play and click on the locations on the side to see our photos. (Interactive Map/Bella Ramirez)
Speaking of family, I felt extreme kinship with my WAHS family throughout the trip. We laughed all night, all day, every second, really. Even through all our goofing off, we were able to get some serious business done. Our group’s pride and joy was the Honorable Mention in Crazy 8 Morning Show Competition. With many Saturdays of practice under our belt and a painstaking experience regarding opening times of shops during competition, it was nice to know we got recognized. Although my individual competition was filled with ups, downs and a horrifically missed deadline, our group Crazy 8 morning show win made up for any pain I went through in my individual piece.
Now that I’m back from Seattle, I’m just counting down the days until next year’s STN in this time in Washington, D.C. As for my broadcast family, you can feel free to read the dedication I wrote to them on Instagram down below. Until next year, STN, signing off from my laptop, I’m Bella Ramirez.