When I moved to the Oregon Coast in December of 2013 I quickly noticed that people I didn’t know would wave to me. At first, when I was driving and would receive a wave, I thought maybe there was something wrong with my car — maybe I had forgotten to turn my headlights on or was driving along with my trunk open and bouncing. But being a walker I noticed that even on foot I received the waves.
Coming from the San Francisco Bay Area there were generally three reasons why someone you didn’t know might wave. First, they had mistaken you for someone they knew (awkward). Second, something was wrong and that person was trying to alert you (alarming!). Or third, the waving person was not quite right and it was best to move to another part of the bus, train, street or coffee shop. So. I was unprepared for the Oregon Coast wave.
That said, it didn’t take me long at all to adjust. Within a few months I was not only returning waves but even initiating them. Whether on foot or in the car a friendly wave almost always is returned. Because I live in an area that draws lots of tourists every summer it’s especially fun to wave to the visitors and see their responses. They often look surprised, and pleased, with the friendly gesture.
I have found that the friendliness that I first experienced here on the coast reaches beyond the lifting of the hand to those we pass. The community is warm and friendly, making this area a great place to live. I experience that friendliness every day as I work in real estate, too. Whether I am working with clients, talking with a loan agent or a contractor, or working with another agent on the purchase or sale of a home, I have found a genuine willingness from others to work together to achieve the end goals.
So next time you are walking along the 804 trail in Yachats, or strolling along in Nye Beach, give it a try. Give a little smile and wave and see what happens.