Tag: Boston

A Year of Adventuring: April through August

LifeMonthly UpdateTravel

As usual, I’ve gotten behind on blogging. The good news is that I have been keeping up with my resolution to visit new places, so I can still report on my results here (in a very shortened form, of course). So, without further ado, here’s five months of travel updates:

April

April was one of those crazy months that just flew by. Luckily I had a trip planned at the end of the month that I was really looking forward too, so it didn’t bother me too much! I spent April in the thick of my GrubStreet course, Master Novel in Progress. It was an incredibly intensive workshop, but it went really well and definitely deserves its own post (soon, I promise).

I visited a friend in London, which was a really amazing trip. I took an overnight flight Wednesday and came home Sunday (I know, everyone has been telling me how crazy I am). We went down to St. Ives, which is on the southern coast of England, and spent the weekend on the coast. We went to the beach, did some hiking, ate a ton of fish and chips, and drank some beer. It was pretty perfect, and honestly more relaxing and enjoyable than hanging out in London would have been. And I got my yearly fill of train rides and tea and scones (with clotted cream!), so that’s pretty much all I needed.

May

In May, I did a lot of things around Boston, since I knew that I was going to be traveling a lot over the summer. One cool thing is that I went to my first Red Sox game! To be honest, it was a slightly miserable experience, since it was cold and rainy, but I’ve since gone to games that were much more enjoyable, so it all kind of evens out in my head. I also visited Hammond Castle, a medieval-style castle on the North Shore of Massachusetts. It was interesting and a lot of fun, so I highly recommend it (also, Gloucester has beautiful beaches too, so you can make a day trip of it).

June

In June, I went camping with a few of my very best friends. It was amazing. We camped in Watkins Glen State Park, did some hiking, and then spent an absolutely perfect afternoon driving up and down the lake to different wineries.

I also made it up to the White Mountains in New Hampshire for the first time. A friend and I went to the New England Brewfest, which is in Lincoln, NH, and decided to get some hiking in. It made for a really awesome day, and I really can’t wait to do it again next year!

July

At the end of July I took a trip to Colorado to visit some friends. I’d been before, mostly to Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, but it was winter then and we honestly didn’t do much other than sit inside, watch movies, and drink tea. This time I got to visit Denver, Boulder, and Estes Park! The weather was really nice (well, hot) most of the time I was there, so we also did some hiking too. Of course, when you’re visiting old friends you realize that what you do is less important than the fact that you’re together.

August

August was a pretty awesome month in terms of travels. I didn’t leave New England, but I went to a lot

of new places. I did a bunch of hiking, which allowed me to explore New Hampshire a bit more. I also took a ferry to Provincetown. I’d been to Cape Cod before, but Provincetown has an atmosphere that’s completely different from anywhere else I’ve ever been, so it was pretty awesome.

But probably the most exciting traveling I got to do in August was staying in a tiny house on Birch Island, off the coast of Brunswick, Maine. We did pretty much everything you can do on a tiny island: making s’mores, hiking, kayaking, hammocking–you name it, we did it.

 

Breaking Up and Making Up with Your Writing Group

LifeMonthly UpdateOn Writing

I feel like there have been so many things for me to write about since I’ve moved to Boston, but for some reason I haven’t been able to put any of it on paper (and by that I mean here, on my blog). I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime in these two months, and maybe that’s why it’s so hard to pick just one thing to write about. (But I’ll do better, because I’ve missed this.)

The reason I’m even typing this right now is because I can’t ignore the feeling that things are right at the moment. And when things are right, it’s kind of hard to stop thinking about them. They creep into your thoughts, your everyday conversations, your Google searches – don’t worry, I’m not talking about a person, I’m talking about writing groups.

I’ve been going to writing groups for over a month now. I’ve tried new ones, stuck to one I thought was good for a while, then stopped going. Let’s just say they didn’t have this feeling. Sometimes they were awkward. Sometimes I felt like I was connecting with people, but only on a superficial level. Something was off. And then, two weeks ago, I went to a new writing group that was starting up.

First, I’ll just say it wasn’t perfect. There were too many people, and we kind of all wanted different things, and I didn’t write one word that day, but there was something about it that felt good. It didn’t matter that it had taken me almost forty minutes by train to get to our meeting place. I wanted to come back to this group, with these people.

And then our group organizer stepped down, essentially citing irreconcilable differences. And yes, it felt like a divorce. Without a leader, who was to say that this group would ever meet again? Well, I decided to say that. I thought about it for a week (it might not seem like a big life decision, but it definitely felt like it at the time), and then I said yes, I’d organize the group, on one condition: if someone co-organized with me. I wondered if this was the time to be stating conditions, but sometimes you have to think about yourself first (right?) and what would be best for you.

So someone stepped up, and somehow we became leaders. Yesterday we had our second meeting. It felt simultaneously like our first meeting (“Hi, I’m Kristin, I moved here in January”) and like our twentieth (“You know, sometimes you just want to write about an elaborate murder”). And that’s how I knew it was right.

A New Normal

LifeOn Writing

It hasn’t taken long for me to settle into life in Boston. In fact, it has been surprisingly easy – I have great roommates, an amazing apartment, possibly the best job I could have hoped for, and a new place to explore. All of these things have made my transition pretty painless. In many ways, the hardest part is getting used to the fact that yes, this is actually my life, and this is what it’s going to be like for a while.

But it’s also a bit of a difficult task to figuring out how to merge the aspects of my life in college with the new ones I’m just beginning to explore. Nothing is just normal anymore, and everything I do makes me realize that I’m creating a new normal. A lifestyle that is similar to my usual one, but different somehow. And I think that’s been the real challenge.

I have the basics laid out – normal includes going to work, watching TV with my roommates, sometimes getting takeout. But then there are things I find myself missing, like yoga, and hours spent writing in eccentric coffee shops. I’ve started trying to incorporate these things into my daily schedule, but it’s hard when a part of me really just wants the old normal – Common Grounds and my favorite Sunday night yoga class.

So my goal for this week, which is somehow only week three of being in Boston, is to find those things. And maybe they won’t look exactly like what I’m used to – maybe it’s not a coffee shop, maybe it’s an hour spent writing after work; maybe it’s an early morning yoga class or a run instead. Either way, I know that this is the time to make the new normal one that I can live with, one that I know is right for me.

An Attitude of Adventure

LifeTravel

“You’re moving all the way to Boston?”

It’s the first thing people say, but it’s often followed by something else.

“It’s cold there.”

“I hope you’re ready for the snow.”

“Boston’s expensive!”

And they’re right, Boston is full of things I’m unfamiliar with, from the cold to Dunkin’ Donuts. But rather than see those as things that may prevent me from enjoying the city and my life there, I’ve chosen to see it all as an adventure.

I have lived my entire life in Texas, and I love it. But I also love to travel, meet new people, and explore new places. And because of that, I’ve learned to take the time and the effort to make other places feel like home as well. Sometimes it happens quickly, which is great, but other times it’s harder. I know that it will take time to get used to Boston and its weather (though the unseasonably mild weather is helping with that), and it will probably take a while to make some new friends as well. But it will happen eventually.

So no matter how hard it is, I’ve chosen to see every change as a new adventure. While it can be a challenge sometimes – especially when you’re sitting in your apartment thinking about how you don’t know anyone in this city – it’s also ridiculously worth it to appreciate the adventure of everyday life.

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