Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day 352 of 365: The Great North

A long time ago -- long before this blog existed -- I made the move across the border to a town called Nashua. The move itself wasn't that extreme: we were only 45 minutes from our slightly-north-of-Boston apartment, and we were literally a stone's throw from Massachusetts (step to the edge of the apartment property, huck a stone, watch it hit Massachusetts territory. I never tried it, but I'm confident it would work). But somehow that seemed to open up the rest of New England for me. Friends would come up to visit me and we'd spend our day driving to Portsmouth, Concord, towns up the Maine seacoast, etc, etc.

Maybe it's because Boston is as egocentric as it gets (I love my city, but sometimes you gotta call a spade a spade) and the idea of just nonchalantly going to, say, Vermont, just because, seems out of our wheelhouse. It's far easier to go Down The Cape instead, even though that's the same drive (and possibly longer because Rt 3 traffic south of Boston is where cars and dreams go to die).

My husband and I have been getting into the habit of just going on drives -- not exactly out of the ordinary, given our love of road trips -- and seeing what the little towns around Manchester and Concord and Portsmouth have to offer. These types of drives never happened when we lived in the Boston area but, then again, who would want to drive around congested streets for fun?

And somehow, moving more up north helped crack open the wonders of traveling through the Great North, crossing borders and exploring places I might not have thought of exploring before. There's something about removing an hour to an hour and a half of travel that suddenly opens the doors to areas you would've considered a big to do to get to before.

Which is what we're doing right now. I'm keeping mum about the details of our next little adventure, at least publicly. One, I hate talking about plans unless they're already in the process of coming to fruition (and even then, I worry about jinxing things) -- and, two, I was recently made privy by a friend to a very interesting set of coincidences, facilitated by someone who has a history of shamelessly copying what I do, so I think I'll wait until we're packing our bags to talk about that.

But, regardless, it's thrilling to recognize just how much of this region feels more open for travel. Whether that's because we once drove to San Francisco and back (and drive yearly to Ohio) and therefore what's a 3 - 8-hour drive seems like nothing ("what, we're only driving for one day, and we could be there before dinner? Sign me up!"), or because crossing the Massachusetts border really did kick the egocentric habit of treating anything outside of the Boston area as a huge thing to plan out, I don't know. All I know is that I feel the need to quote Calvin & Hobbes: It's a magical world out there ... let's go exploring.

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