Some people are born with a nomad inside. The desire to get up, get out and get going is just a part of their DNA; it’s an all-consuming endeavor.
Megan Gibbons is one of those people. Upon meeting her, an infectious smile might accompany a slightly downturned glance. She’s educated, well-spoken, funny and attractive, yet she doesn’t put off the vibe she believes any of that. There’s an admirable streak of humility in her.
And that’s why I’m here. To tear down that wall of unassuming humility and introduce you to the real, adventure-loving, happy-go-lucky and only occasionally prone to bouts of seriousness, Megan Gibbons.
Originally born in New Mexico, Gibbons went to college in West Texas, then moved to Arizona and finally wound up in Portland a little over three years ago. “My brother and his daughter were here and I wanted to be around them.”
Considering she could easily be considered part of the “wave” of people who are moving here and transforming the Rose City, Gibbons feels no animosity. “I have a great group of friends that includes natives and non-natives alike,” she says. “It’s based more on who I am than where I come from.”
And who she is certainly is interesting. By day, Gibbons works as a project engineer for a fire suppression company. “I essentially design fire suppression systems, mostly in commercial sprinklers.”
Boring, you say? Not to Gibbons. “I get to have fun with math and science on a daily basis,” she says with a smile.
We’ll take her word for it. So, with so much “fun” going in on the office, one can only wonder how Gibbons keeps her personal life full of whimsy. Fortunately, she’s got a lot of pokers warming in the fun fire.
“Over the past several years I have been trying to meet some of my travel goals,” she says without hesitation.
One of those travel goals was recently met in Iceland, where Gibbons satisfied her inner “geology nerd,” as she puts it. From volcanos to blue lagoons to artsy photos standing in front of a random business, Gibbons describes the country as “unique” and “spectacular.”
Next up for this traveler-extraordinaire? Australia. Having just obtained her diver’s license, Gibbons plans on spending time swimming through the Great Barrier Reef, though she is well aware of the reef’s condition.
“I will see a lot less than people saw ten to twenty years ago,” she says somberly. “Coral bleaching is a major problem. I saw it in Hawaii. It really reminds me that I can do more environmentally speaking and really push back against those contaminating our earth and ignoring global warming.”
When she’s not globe-trotting or at work keeping people safe from office fires, you can find Gibbons somewhere on a trail or near a hot springs or swimming hole.
Portland does an excellent job attracting people that contribute to this great patchwork of fun-loving adventurers we call home. These are the PDX People who are complimentary to Portland’s milieu as a great city and we’re proud to have Megan Gibbons here as one of them – even if she was part of the “wave.”
William Bessette – PDX People Contributor
William Bessette is a journalist and freelance writer who has been covering politics, entertainment, culture and travel for over thirteen years. When he’s not profiling Portland-area restaurants and residents, you can find him reporting on national and international travel and eco-tourism through his travel brand, Floppy Hat Adventures.