I’ve been thinking a lot, recently, as to what it means to have a true experience of a city that speaks for the many different parts. Much of my time here has revolved around getting to know the downtown area, and I’ve started to become curious as to what life is like outside of the city.
Around a month ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a local friend, who lives thirty minutes north of center city, Tony. He frequently drives into town to explore new breweries and restaurants, and because of him I’ve been able to drive out to see areas like Fishtown and Bokbar – places that feel just out of reach from where I live. This week, Tony offered me the opportunity to dog-sit his puppy while out of town, and I couldn’t help but say yes!
I was starting to feel a big exhausted and congested by the city’s hustle and bustle, and being able to escape from it for a little while was just what I needed. And just as expected… life out here is different. By different, I mean “normal.” People have yards, driveways, gas stations, and Aldi’s(!!!). It is refreshing to have some space and, hopefully, gain some energy back. Since I now had a car to my disposal for the weekend, I took the opportunity to travel someplace new: New Jersey!
What was so alluring about a day trip to New Jersey was that we could spend some time visiting the water – something I miss about the little laketown of Holland. We drove all the way to Long Beach Island and had brunch at the sweetest little coastal Mom-n-Pop diner. Afterwards, we drove to the end of the island to view the area from the top of a lighthouse!
Did I ever think I’d have an entire apartment, puppy, and car to myself during my semester in Philly? From a friend I met while here? And then travel to New Jersey to see the ocean with another local friend? Absolutely not! Life has taken me to so many unexpected places this semester, and I can’t wait to see what else will happen. Keep it coming, Philly!