What an excellent trip!
We rented a cottage on the eastern shore of Chincoteague Island, overlooking the channel to Assateague where the wild ponies live.
Every morning, when I came out of the cottage to have my coffee on the dock, I could look across the channel and see them grazing in the long marsh grasses. Morning and night, just across the way, I could look at any time and see the Assateague lighthouse, the beacon of which might have kept me up at night but instead provided a lulling rhythm by which to fall asleep.
We kayaked, and we sunbathed, and we read books on the beach. It was relaxing and idyllic, just as I was hoping.
I slept on a futon for five nights (God help me, that’ll never happen again on a vacation!), got a giant bruise on my left leg from a run-in with my kayak, blistered my toes by walking four miles in flats (didn’t anticipate such a long walk, but it was such a gorgeous night!), and got a little sunburned.
It gave me space to process all the craziness that happened in my life over the past few months, especially the two weeks before leaving, and I was even able to let go of everything and just exist for a while. I’m coming home with a new self-awareness, clear understanding of several things I need to do, and a better sense of who I am and how I’ve changed over the past few years.
I think one of my favorite things about travel is that it gets me out of the mold I often apply to myself, allows me – even forces me – to be who I really truly am. And then I can take those things I learn and go back to my ‘normal’ life with fresh perspective and renewed appreciation for who I am.
One big takeaway from this trip: I want to travel with my family more. I had more fun in four days with my sister in Ithaca than in a week on the beach with my best friend. What is up with that?! I think it’s because my sister and I allow each other to shift and change and just be, while that feedom doesn’t exist with my best friend. It’s entirely possible that it’s my doing, and it’s more than I want to get into right now, but it has given me an awful lot to think about and has made my appreciate my family more than ever before.
And… I cannot wait to get back to Chincoteague! The people are sweet, the horses are beatiful, the beach is perfect, the pace is relaxed, and I’m missing it already!