This article can also be found in the June 2018 issue of Queen Anne Living Magazine.
As a child with a parent in the Coast Guard, Susan Barnes never felt like she truly had a place to call home – that is, until she permanently settled in Queen Anne about 25 years ago.
Barnes’ family was originally from England, but they moved every few years or so when she was young after her father joined the Coast Guard. The family lived all over the United States, including the Midwest, New Jersey and Oregon, where she attended the University of Oregon.
Barnes had originally planned to move out to Los Angeles from New York City, where she lived after college, but visiting some friends in Seattle made her think twice.
“You have the mountains everywhere and Queen Anne has such a small-town feel while being in the middle of a city,” she said about why she chose to move to Seattle instead.
Nowadays Barnes works as a freelance graphic designer. She’s completed print and web projects for some big Seattle companies including Microsoft and T-Mobile.
However, her true love is traveling. She’s visited more than 40 countries to date, primarily as a solo traveler.
Barnes generally tries to take one big trip per year. So far, she’s traveled through Europe, Southeast Asia, southern Africa and South America.
She recalls one of her craziest travel experiences as riding on the roof of a bus in Laos for 11 hours. She also went on a seven-day trek through the Himalayas alongside only one guide who spoke very little English.
Although Barnes doesn’t speak any languages other than English fluently, she always makes a point to learn the basics in any place she visits. Interestingly enough, the place with the most difficult accent to understand is always England, she laughed.
Of course, after every trip she always looks forward to coming back home to Queen Anne. “I can’t wait to get back to the green and blue,” she said. “Queen Anne is always warm and inviting.”
But all in all, it’s the people that really make Queen Anne a wonderful place, said Barnes. “Everyone’s neighborly here – you’ll end up having at least five conversations with people just walking around the neighborhood.”