Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Week In New England

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Last week I took myself on a little vacation of sorts. I had planned this week away a couple months ago, before life took some unexpected and admittedly really stressful twists and turns, and when the time came to catch my train north it couldn't have been a better time to escape. I've recently found myself in dire need of a change of perspective. Why is it such a shock when smooth and easy sailing transitions to rough seas? I'm talking about life of course, not actual sailing (though the same applies). I'm 33, I should be used to the ebb and flow of life by now. So this confluence of events was the perfect time to get some fresh air and quality time with family, friends, and the ocean. It was just me this time, as Chris had to work, so I caught a train and met up with my mom in New Hampshire. It felt so good to be back home again. I needed fresh air more than I realized, and to have an entire week to mostly leisurely visit with family and basically bum around as if I still lived there provided the perspective I was hoping to find, albeit with some confusion. We've been thinking a lot lately about where we'd like to end up, the kind of place we'd ideally like to live. Philly has served us so well these past few years - we certainly handled the move with considerably more grace than we did poor Pittsburgh - but in the end we know this isn't where we want to settle down. We miss fresh air, and easy hiking, and kayaking, and salt marshes, and everything else you can do and explore when clean water and beautiful geography are right outside your door. Essentially this means the Pacific Northwest or Northern New England for us sometime in the near future. Mountains on one side and ocean on the other.

If you ever want to be seduced into throwing it all out and moving to New England, visit in the summer. Five years - six years?! - away has only made my heart grow fonder, especially when summer in Philly can feel like hot garbage (not poetic or kind to the city I live in, BUT THE DAMN TRUTH, it's hitting triple digits today). I missed a pretty nasty storm by a couple of days, and we had one drizzly cold day on the coast, but otherwise it was damn near perfect. Even with the mosquitos and threat of ticks. I spent most of the week visiting with family  - several members were in from out of town - and working on some personal projects, then on Saturday I headed to the North Shore to see some friends before heading back to Philly. It's incredible to see how revitalized everything has become in the past few years. Our old town was never in dire shape exactly, but there were a few years when empty storefronts were becoming increasingly common. It's so wonderful to see new shops, cafe, and restaurants popping up (too bad about the rent though).

So that's where I'm at. That's where we're at. Having lots of conversations about where, when, how, and if. After jobs determining where we live over the past few years, Chris and I have both fallen in love with the idea of being masters of our own destinies (I mean, we've always been in love with autonomy, but as we get older it feels more urgent) - life is too short.