KANSAS CITY, MO–Tiffany Phan has long lived up to the “world traveler” description in her Instagram bio. She’s visited more than twenty countries and four different continents, and she’s not shy about letting people know it. Things have been understandably quieter on the travel front since 2020, and Tiffany is growing stir crazy in her downtown apartment. With international destinations carrying too many travel restrictions and uncertainties, Tiffany is looking forward to exploring some Americana in the year ahead. Despite being born and raised in Kansas City, she’s only been to six states in her life. Tiffany prided herself on having visited more countries than states, but she was curious about how the less cultured travelers vacationed. So, with a Spring 2022 trip in mind, Tiffany sat down to nail down a list of possible destinations.
Having already crossed New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Seattle off her travel bucket list, Tiffany’s thoughts couldn’t help but gravitate toward Portland, Oregon. She’d always been interested in the artsy and eclectic vibe of the city, and she’d heard rave reviews from her friend Ophelia, who has been incarcerated there since 2018 under mysterious circumstances. Tiffany had also been a longtime fan of Portlandia and desired to visit some of the show’s shooting locations. The diverse culinary culture and music scene were additionally huge draws, and even something about the city’s homeless population felt glamorous. For one reason or another, Portland had always been fixated on the back of Tiffany’s brain, and perhaps the time to finally satisfy that itch had arrived.
As Tiffany scanned Google for flight deals in April, she remembered something. Her cousin, Lexi, moved to Portland in 2019. Tiffany isn’t close to Lexi, nor does she care to be anywhere near her outside of mandatory family functions. Lexi had insisted that Tiffany reach out to her if she ever wanted to visit Portland and offered to be her local liaison to the city. She made this clear to the entire extended family, so it would be perceived as a major slight for Tiffany not to take her up on the offer. “It would be a whole family scandal if I don’t reach out to her. It’s not worth the fallout to risk lying about. I could probably just grab lunch or coffee with her, but I know I don’t want to. I’ll probably avoid Portland forever. Lexi is very strange and watches entirely too much anime. Not popular anime, either. Very niche anime. And I’m not comfortable around her boyfriend, Les. I’m 100% sure they make porn. Very niche porn.”
After considering her familial obligations in Portland, Tiffany shifted her search toward Austin, Texas. “Yeah, I’ll just never go to Portland.”