Since I left home for my Great Escape, I’ve been doing monthly roundups of my adventures filled with anecdotes, private little moments, and thoughts that are found no where else on this blog. As this site is not just a resource for other travelers but also my own personal travel diary, I like to take some time to reflect on not just what I did, but how I felt. You can read my previous roundups here: Month 1, Month 2, Months 3 and 4, Month 5, Month 6, Month 7, Months 8 and 9, Month 10, Month 11, Month 12, and Month 13.
After the complete and total madness that was the first half of summer, I admit that I was ready for a little break. Luckily, I had a pretty laid back schedule for the subsequent two months — just three domestic trips interspersed with time in both Albany and New York City.
I truly loved spending the summer based at home — it’s when my family and friends have more free time, there are tons of fantastic events and things to do, and it’s when the weather is sunny and warm. I can see this as an ideal model for my future — the colder months spent traveling and living abroad, and the brief but beautiful warm months spent soaking up sun and time with loved ones.
Martha’s Vineyard Bliss
Where I’ve Been
• Five Days in Myrtle Beach
• Seven Days in Martha’s Vineyard
• Three Days in Rochester
• Three Days in Boston
• … and the rest in Albany and New York City!
Myrtle Beach Mayhem
• I spent a year living out of a backpack. So coming home and making over my childhood bedroom was so much fun! I miss having creative outlets when I’m on the road, and so it was great to flex my design muscles and do something with such a rewarding conclusion.
• These months found me getting into the greatest shape of my life. To everyone-who-has-ever-known-me’s shock, fitness is becoming a huge part of my life. From yoga in Martha’s Vineyard to Crossfit training in Albany to spinning classes in New York City, my workouts came with me wherever I was…. assuming dancing all night in Myrtle Beach counts!
• While I may no longer have an official residence in New York City any longer, it still feels like home. This summer I stayed at the apartments of six generous friends, and fielded offers from many more. I partied in Rockaway Beach and stayed up till sunrise at crazy warehouse parties with friends, I saw Bring It On the musical and got massages during a mommy-daughter date, I checked to Smorgasburg on a solo day around Brooklyn, and I rung in my little sister’s 21st birthday in Manhattan. I had a million happy moments this summer in my favorite city in the world — that’s a highlight if I ever felt one.
• As I alluded to, I was so incredibly happy spending so much of the summer in Albany. I wasn’t sure I would be, and I do admit that its strange only having a handful of friends left here — but they are some of my nearest and dearest and I cherish my time with them. I simply loved exploring my hometown as a traveler — I did tons of new things like check out the tourist attraction the Corning Tower, the nightlife jem The Rusty Anchor, and the fun Larkfest street fair. Plus, being home meant time to engage in some of my non-travel related hobbies, like baking, seeing shows (I saw the Micheal Jackson Cirque de Soliel!) and obsessing over my dog.
• The five days of hedonism that was Myrtle Beach might have gotten a tad out of control — but in a good way. It was our most wild yet drama free trip yet and I laughed until I my ribs ached, danced until my feet were bruised and drank my weight in banana daiquiris. I really hope I’m never too old for this.
• On the other end of the spectrum, Martha’s Vineyard was laid back, relaxed, and peaceful. It was great to be reunited with a place so special to me, and this trip laid the groundwork for my mom’s very exciting new purchase! I look forward to spending next summer renovating, painting, and decorating.
• It’s so funny when all your family connections suddenly start shifting to adult relationships. In recent years I’ve gone from the annoying brat to the slightly-annoying-but-definitely-getting-cooler younger sibling to my sister Margaret, who I went to visit in Rochester. It has meant so much to me to develop a real relationship with her — she’s become a lot to me, from running coach to blog cheerleader to friend.
• These months may have been light on exotic travel, but I did end up with a shiny new passport stamp and got a kick out of walking across the border at Niagara Falls!
• On a light note, I am the slowest painter in the history of the world. Seriously, thanks to my OCD perfectionism I felt like I spent the entire two months repainting my bedroom. Tears were shed.
• While I didn’t let it get me down too much, it’s obvious these months were lighter on travel than usual. Towards the end I was starting to feel pretty restless and wanderlusty and ready to be plopped in a country who’s name I couldn’t pronounce and language I couldn’t speak.
• The downside of being a Yes Girl is that sometimes it can be very frustrating when you can’t find anyone to say YES with you! There were quite a few cool events and exciting opportunities that passed me by this summer because I couldn’t find anyone else who found those things to be quite as cool or exciting. I get it — I’m in “travel mode” and my friends are in “home mode” and that makes a big difference. But it can still be a little frustrating sometimes.
• I made a really, really stupid mistake and left my camera in Boston the weekend before I left for Hawaii. It cost my tons of time, stress, and money. Sometime I wonder when I will finally grow up and take care of my things!
New York City Nights
I’m blessed — I don’t have to pay a dime in accommodation when I’m home. But simply filling up the family car I have access to amounts to my weekly budget when I was living in Thailand. It’s crazy, but living abroad is cheaper than living with my mom — I can’t afford to live at home!
Alive in Albany
Month 16 brought me to the adventure you’ll start reading about tomorrow… Hawaii!
And we’re on to the Aloha State!