Across the Divide

Three Portlanders who grew up in rural Oregon talk about their relationships to their rural background

Left to right: Marko Bradley, Iván Hernández Macias, and Kate Sund

In August 2015, I moved to Portland from a small town of two thousand people in the northeastern corner of Oregon. I was beyond excited for life in a city, but I didn’t expect my transition between the two places to be so difficult. I was both scared to share my rural upbringing with my urban counterparts and desperately homesick for the place that held my friends, family, and most of my memories. I have now lived in Portland for nearly four years, and as I have started to examine what it means to be a rural person in an urban place, I’ve wondered what other people in my situation might be feeling.

I reached out to three people living in Portland today who grew up in rural Oregon: Marko Bradley of Roseburg, Iván Hernández Macias of Umatilla and Hermiston, and Kate Sund of Astoria. I had the opportunity to talk with Marko, Iván, and Kate about growing up rural, small-town identity, and their relationships to their rural communities today. 


Belonging, Community, Identity


1 comments have been posted.

I loved listening to this conversation. I grew up in Roseburg and after living in a few other places in the country and world am not living in Portland. We need more rural-urban bridgebuilders like you to make our state, country and world a better place. Keep up the good work!

Julie Sifuentes | July 2019 |

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