ALERT: A happy visitor!

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I know we have a lot of happy visitors to Seattle and the Northwest, but sometimes I lose sight of that when reading emails from someone who received a parking ticket while here or who felt unsafe in some part of town. Once in a blue moon (literally right now), I get an email from a happy visitor. I thought I’d pass this one along.

Last month I had the fortunate opportunity to visit Seattle and I write to congratulate the city leaders and the local community for this experience.
As an international visitor from Australia, I did not know very much about Seattle. I was visiting to learn and for once, I did not want any preconceived ideas. I had no expectations, all I knew about Seattle was that the city was surrounded by forests, lakes and mountains and it rained – a lot.
I arrived on the day that plastic bags were banned and was somewhat pleasantly surprised at this regulation. Did the general Seattle resident really believe in a sustainable environment or was this just a government directive to get people to be activity involved?
I was the ultimate tourist, visiting all the sites but noting what made this city different.
Firstly, your city is very green and clean. I walked the streets to find very little litter. However, the most delightful assets of your city  are the residents themselves. People went out of their way to give directions and to engage in conversation with a lone, female, 50 something Aussie, with a map!
Recycling, community gardens, a balance between ecological and economic sustainability  and a wonderful appreciation for the natural environment were all areas of discussion with complete strangers.
When a city looks good and the residents are proud of it, they react and treat each other and visitors with the same consideration.
My visit to Seattle made me reconsider my attitudes in regards to the ability of citizens and leaders  to take charge and make a difference about the impact of human behaviour on our environment.
Well done, Seattle!
Leaders of communities and the general public would all benefit from a visit to your city and by the way, the mountains, lakes and forests were beautiful and there was no rain!