Quotes for When It’s Time to Leave

I went to open up a blank blog post and update you guys on the latest adventures in London town, and I noticed this draft that I’d started months ago but since forgotten.

I think it must have been a few weeks before I left the Outer Banks, when my sadness at leaving was far overshadowing my anticipation of moving to London in the day-to-day.  The exciting European city I’d never been to just didn’t feel nearly as real as the little beach that had been my home for two years.

When I thought about it, I was still thrilled at the prospect of London, but then I’d have a day on the OBX that would make me question myself.  It was never a particularly special day; that was the point.  The guy at the produce stand would give me a free sunflower with my fruit and veggies.  I’d see someone I knew at every stop on my errands.  One of my regulars would bring me lunch at the coffee shop because I forgot to pack one.  I’d run to the beach and watch the waves crashing around the pier.  The daily life equivalent of hitting all the green lights.  An ordinary day that highlighted how incredible this place and these people were, and I’d wonder if I was crazy – why in the world I was giving that up?!


But I still knew in my heart that I couldn’t stay there forever – that moving on and going to grad school was the right decision for me.  London was calling (they say it does that…).

I tried to keep a positive perspective and remember my past experiences.  I HATE leaving places.  I didn’t want to leave home to go to Geneseo.  I didn’t want to leave Geneseo to go to New Zealand.  I didn’t want to leave New York to go to the Outer Banks.  But those were all my decisions, and I left anyway – and Geneseo, New Zealand, and the Outer Banks have given me some of the best times of my life.  Why would London be any different?

So I started gathering these little snippets and quotes from around the internet (if you follow me on Pinterest, you may have already seen some of them).  I’d planned to publish this post on the blog when I left the Outer Banks, to share and to remind myself, “don’t worry, be happy!”  But then I forgot.  Oops.

I just read through them all again, and ya know what?  I still like them all.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy them, too.  Some wisdom and inspiration I’m finding very appropriate right now…













In a way, it was kind of nice to find this unfinished post and remember how I was feeling back then.  It was so, so hard to leave the Banks.  I was miserable that morning, and really lucky to have my little brother there to drive and play happy roadtrip songs while I pouted against the window.

But then I had an absolutely wonderful month at home.  I got to spend a ton of time with my family, help move out of my childhood home and into my parents’ new one, eat Stewart’s ice cream, hike mountains, see old high school friends.  I took myself on a veritable tour of the northeast, from Rexford to Boston to Lake George to Vermont to Manhattan and back again, visiting friends and family from all the other homes I’ve picked up along the way.  It was just the best.

And then I got on a plane, flew across the Atlantic, and now I’m two weeks into the part of my life that was looming mysteriously ahead of me for so long.  I really miss the Outer Banks – I had such a wonderful part of my life there – but guess what?  I love London, too (oh, who’s surprised).

Playing with the Birds

And we’re back!

Sorry for the long hiatus.  I was moving into a new apartment while still working my normal schedule of two jobs, and a week of packing, purging, and moving left very little time to sit down and blog.  Then, when I was finally settled in my new place, my laptop wouldn’t connect to the wifi network.  Thankfully, the awesome guys at the local computer repairs place fixed me up to run as good as new!  So here I am again, settled in and trying to soak up every last second of my time on the Outer Banks (only a month left… hoooly cow).

I figured I owe you a pretty good adventure after so much radio silence.  Luckily, my leisurely day off this week turned up a bit of excitement when my friend Jonny called me unexpectedly and said simply, “The weather’s good.  Are you free??”  An opener like that surely means something good is in store, so I said yes and got up to Currituck as quick as I could.

You might remember Jonny from when he took me up in the trike last summer.  This time, we switched it up a little bit.


That’s Johnathon, another glider pilot pal.  Go ahead and take a moment to admire his beautiful hair.  Jonny’s the only tow pilot so Johnathon went in the glider with me.  This was a different experience than hang gliding in New Zealand because we launched via aerotowing instead of by foot.  There aren’t any big mountains around here to jump off of like there are in NZ, so we were hooked up to the back of the tow plane (called a Dragonfly) and Jonny pulled us off the ground like it was nothing.


The setup for aerotow hang gliding is also different than foot-launching because you’re one on top of the other, instead of next to each other.  Overall, the “stacked” formation distributes weight more evenly so it’s helpful during the tow-up, but the side-by-side formation is necessary for moving together during a foot launch.


Just like in the trike, we flew over coastal Currituck and had a great view of the sound and all the inlets and waterways.  We slowly circled up to 2000 feet, and then Jonny gave us a a wave from the Dragonfly and dropped us.  See the little yellow cone on the tow rope falling away?


The first few seconds after he dropped us were like going over the top of a roller coaster, but the air currents quickly grabbed us and held us up.  Up until that point, it had been a free ride, but now the work (and the fun part!) started.


Jonny snuck around behind us…


We waved goodbye…


… and he DOVE.


You can’t quite get the full idea from still photos, but he tailspun all the way to the ground.  It was crazy!  When I joked to Johnathon that Jonny was showing off, he said, “Yeah.  But he always gets down that way.”

Back in the air, we readjusted our GoPro and chilled out for a minute.


I’ve now gotten to see coastal North Carolina from the air a handful of times, but every time I do, it amazes me what a geographically interesting place it is.  It’s so skinny!  And this is Currituck… the Outer Banks is way skinnier (you can see Duck and Corolla on the OBX way on the horizon in a few photos above).


After a bit of gliding around, Johnathon gave me some pointers and then handed over the controls so he could hang out and take it easy.


The glider was WAY easier to maneuver than the trike.  It felt super light and turned effortlessly when I steered.  We turned back around to start heading towards the landing strip and see some more of the ocean on the way.


And then Johnathon took back the reigns and asked one of my favorite questions:

“Do you like roller coasters?”


“How much?”

“A lot.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.  I promise.  Do it!!”

I had a vague idea of what he had up his sleeve when he asked me that question, and I was right… my face just about says it all here.


All we had to do was shift our collective bodyweight backwards and forwards to make the glider act like it was going up and down huge hills in the air.


I love that you can tell by Johnathon’s face that he loves this just as much even though he does it all day, every day.  We were having a blast!  After the hills, he did some serious stunts for us.


I love our shadow in that photo!  Sometimes we’d dive straight for the ground, but then catch an air current and go right back up again.  Johnathon was flipping, corkscrewing, and twisting us in every direction.




Eventually we leveled out again and spent our last few minutes gliding around smoothly and enjoying the views, all the while descending.  Finally, Johnathon brought us in for a picture-perfect landing exactly where we took off.  This landing was definitely less nerve-racking than in New Zealand because Johnathon was under me as we dove.  If I’m going to smash face-first into the ground, I’d rather have a squishy human to break my fall.


Then it was time to wrangle out of our harnesses (I was faster), peace out to the camera, and head back in after a successful afternoon’s adventure.


But apparently I wasn’t quite done.

Jonny really wanted to take me up himself, so we went up for a quick flight in the Dragonfly.  He even let me sit in front!  Like the trike, it’s totally exposed on all sides.  You have a seatbelt… but that’s about it.  Crazy!  I was tempted to take my camera and get some photos of the scenery, but I was just too nervous about dropping it (FYI my sunglasses were from the dollar store… wasn’t taking any chances!).

Once again, I owe my dear friend Jonny (and equally awesome buddy Johnathon) for the thrill of a lifetime.  If you’re ever near the OBX, you’ve got to let these guys at Kitty Hawk Kites take you up.  You won’t regret it!

So what’s next?  Amity, your hot air balloon suggestion is still top of the list… or maybe it’s time to just get my pilot’s license myself?  I wonder if they have coupons for that…

The In-Between

This post could be about a few different things.  If it was called The Inbetweeners, it could be about my favorite British television obsession from last winter (besides Sherlock… and Downton Abbey… wait, I can’t really narrow it down).


If it was called The Inn-Between, it could be about the iconic Geneseo bar-in-a-barn that makes no sense to anybody who hasn’t been there, and to many people who have.

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(This is an accurate representation.  Oh, the IB.)

But it’s called The In-Between, and it’s about home.  Technically, I have a lot of homes now (hello, blog tagline).  Places where I’ve moved and stayed and eventually left again, perhaps with a little bit more or a little bit less of myself than when I arrived.  But right now, I mean HOME home.


That’s Rexford.  What brought on this little bout of 518-homesickness?  These guys did, of course.


Oh, you didn’t know I grew up with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper?  I didn’t.  Rats.  But they DID just film an entire movie in and around the exact area I grew up in.  The Place Beyond the Pines was completely shot and set in Schenectady, New York, and a few other parts of the Capital District.

It wasn’t showing anywhere on the Outer Banks, so on a whim, I went up to Virginia Beach last week to see it by myself.  First of all, Abby introduced me to going to movies alone and it is AWESOME, and second of all, I knew it would be really annoying for anyone I went to see it with if I kept whispering, “That’s my bank!  I know that street!  I went to high school with her!”

As a side note, I didn’t realize until I got there that the theater I’d set my course for was Beach Movie Bistro, a dine-in movie theater restaurant.  It was so great.  The seats were gigantic, everyone had their own table, and a man named Barry brought me pizza during the previews.  Score.

Anyway, in an odd twist, the pre-movie entertainment was about base jumping in New Zealand.


That is Mt. Cook valley, and the view is almost identical to those from my tramping trip there!  Crazy.  The next segment was about this guy named Steve Fisher, an extreme kayaker and one of National Geographic’s 2013 Adventurers of the Year (man, I’d like to win that prize).  I honestly was paying more attention to my pizza during this, but he caught my attention at one point by saying, “My life has shown me many places that tempt me to stay… but even so, there are always new challenges to take on.”

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Whoa.  That resonated with me, for some obvious and not-so-obvious reasons.  I’m not an extreme kayaker, so I probably don’t think of everything quite as intensely – but still, I wanted to give Steve Fisher a big “I feel ya, man” on this one.

That all may sound unrelated to the ramblings I began this post with, but it’s all to say that I was in a weird, wistful mood before the movie even began.  And then the movie itself was like driving around my hometown for a couple of hours, albeit with two really good-looking actors running around and a bunch of people shooting guns.

Altamont Fairgrounds, where my friends and I used to go for music festivals.  State Street.  Vale Cemetery.  The GE building where my mom worked for most of my childhood.  The 1st National Bank of Scotia.  Story Avenue in Niskayuna.  I had a couple of high school friends who were visible extras in the movie.  They even used our actual newspapers and television anchors instead of creating fake ones or hiring actors.  At times I actually had to remind myself to look at what Ryan Gosling was doing because I was too focused on the scenery – really??

Unlike the countless movies set in New York City or LA, this movie will not make you say, “I wish I lived there!”  Schenectady is not glamorous.  It’s real.  It’s just a normal town in upstate New York that’s had golden ages and crappy periods and is surrounded by a bunch of other even littler towns that are just keepin’ on.  But it’s green and beautiful in the summer, and there are drive-in country ice cream places EVERYWHERE, and apparently it’s kinda easy to rob banks.  It’s where I grew up, and I know it, and I love it.  I never got as burned-out on living in suburbia as some of my friends did in high school (maybe because I lived “over the bridge” and got to escape back to Rexford after school), but I’ve grown to appreciate my roots even more since moving away.  Isn’t that how it goes?


So why “The In-Between?”  I intentionally planned to go back home to NY for over a month between leaving the Outer Banks and going to London.  I want to spend time with my family and friends, and just enjoy the area again, before moving halfway around the world.  But ever since I’ve started making concrete plans for the fall, like deciding on housing and booking plane tickets, I’ve gotten wrapped up in London daydreams.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing.  I’m glad that I’m so excited for grad school, and for moving somewhere new.  It makes me sure that this is the right decision.  However, it’s also made me sort of forget about my in-between time.

It was unexpected, but The Place Beyond the Pines reminded me to look forward to the in-between, my five whole weeks of 518, after I leave another place that I love but before I set out on my next big adventure.  Because I’ll be home.  Unfortunately without Bradley Cooper.

Has anything ever made you unexpectedly miss home?

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