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Out Of Town

April 17, 2014 - Carrie Olson
I've. Got. To. Get. Out. Now.

When my daily schedule involves trudging through thousands of people on dirty, stinky sidewalks, surrounded by skyscraper after skyscraper, a part of me just wants to scream.

Most of the time, it's a fascinating excursion and I love the fast-pace atmosphere, but every once and awhile, it just freaks me out. I don't want to be in the middle of New York City. I want out.

Luckily, we live in a smaller neighborhood across the water and are able to somewhat escape big city life pretty regularly. We are able to walk the boardwalk from Jersey City through Hoboken and stare out at the Hudson River and at NYC and just take it in. We are able to walk through Liberty State Park, a large green expanse behind the Statue of Liberty, pretty close to where we live.

But … it's not the same. It's not like going to Briggs Woods and being surrounded by nature, barely seeing a soul while your trekking through the wilderness. You may hear seagulls squawk and waves lapping along the rocks below. Yet, there are still tons of people all around, talking on their cell phones or yammering on and on. It's not the same.

So when I feel my hands clench into fists and the pressure in my chest rise from feeling never alone, I know it's time to venture out of my daily routine. We made quite a few trips out of town last year, but only to visit family back in Webster City. We went to Boston for a weekend trip. But we really haven't had time, or I guess made an effort, to leave this area for something new.

On Sunday, we packed a picnic lunch and headed to Grand Central Station. We took the Metro-North Train an hour and a half north to a small town called Cold Spring. Along the Hudson River, the sights from our seats on the train went from the interesting to the serene. We drove through project after project in the Bronx. By Yankee Stadium. And finally to bedroom towns further away, where NYC commuters live on the outskirts with their families. When we entered Cold Spring, located right off the train tracks, it was filled with quaint antique shops and restaurants on cobblestone streets. We meandered to a hiking area and along the way, we saw Little Leaguers in their uniforms at practice, townspeople leaving their church from Palm Sunday mass.

We trekked up a mountain path and enjoyed some time in the quiet. We sat on large rocks drinking our Coca Cola, staring at the buildings of the town below. It was … refreshing. And although it was far away with completely different scenery, I felt at peace and at home. Perhaps it was being in a small town, seeing old Victorian homes with people holding potlucks on their back porches. We both immediately looked at each other and said, "We should move here."

In the past half year, we both have gotten used to the idea of being here more than just for the short term. We enjoy city life, our friends and the opportunities available here. But there is that continuing growing urge for something different, something a bit more familiar.

Once we got our fill of hiking and exploring the town, we were ready to get back on the train and head back to our apartment. To get ready for the work week ahead. But knowing that small town life exists and that we want that down the road, it definitely relaxed me and let me get through this work week a little easier than before.


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