A Room with A View

This prompt comes from The Daily Post’s Writing 101 June Challenge, which I will be doing a couple of just to get comfortable blogging.

With so many of my closest friends far away, I feel pangs of guilt when I think back to all of the wasted opportunities we’d had when we all lived so close to one another in undergrad. We took advantage of it–don’t get me wrong–but now I realize just what we had. Even then, I thought I understood, I felt that I had been keenly aware that I needed to treasure those times, and I did…and I do…but now, I think I truly understand just how special and irreplaceable that time was. However, the dorm was just a dorm.

I think I’d like to be transported to where one of them is. There are so many options: northern Japan, a small coastal village in China, a farming town in South Korea, LA, Florida, Indiana…then there are the friends who are in the same state as I am, but are just out of reach enough (and busy enough) that we cannot really spontaneously hit up a mall or something. Or are in medical school and have no life.

There are so many places in the world I want to see, and there are even places that I’ve been that I did not see enough of. I could go into detail about the brilliant mix of old and new in Kyoto, or the white sanded shores in the Dominican Republic. I could vaguely imagine what Portland or New Zealand or Singapore is like.

I’d like to go someplace where no one knew me. Or at the most perhaps one person. A visit to a friend in Seattle sort of has all of the checkboxes ticked that would exist for my ideal type of travel. I’d just spent a week in a place I’d never been before (travel followed by more travel: check) and dropped in on them (random visits to loved ones: check). I stayed at their apartment (not paying for lodging: check) the duration of my trip. It’s a very nice apartment–brand new–in a nice part of town. Although they had work during the day, I took the time to simultaneously relax (relaxing alone: check) and explore some of the surrounding area on my own (solo exploring: check). When he’d get back, we’d go out and explore the area together (new experiences for both parties: check), and he would bring me to places/restaurants he enjoyed and knew I’d like (being shown around by the locals: check). We went to a music festival, relaxed in the park, go ice cream way more times than we should have, and attempted hiking (read: he hiked, I attempted). One of my favorite memories was one afternoon where we were both just sitting around reading. Aside from the tickets for the concert, and a restaurant reservation before a movie, we didn’t really plan anything in advance, but rather had a vague idea of what we wanted (no plan, but plan: check). With my family, either we vacation and everything is planned out to a T and there’s no down time, or we literally sit around a beach or a pool and do nothing all day. There is no in between. I like in between. I love being shown around an area by someone who knows it, and I love discovering it on my own. I love having a day with a booked agenda, and I love figuring it out as you go. I would love a similar experience to Seattle in one of the other places my friends are scattered.

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