Having declared this summer as one of many resolutions, I’ve busied my mind with anticipation in planning each weekend with dreamy beach activities and adventures. Being type-A and highly imaginative, I can get a little ahead of myself. It’s easy for me to forget that my living isn’t meant to be broadcasted, insta’d, or retold to summer of ’69 perfection; it’s just meant to be lived and lived well. So when my acutely scheduled plans for a Savannah weekend getaway with close friends and perfunctory fake ids fell through, I was surprised to find relief in place of disappointment between the lines of my little red planner. I packed some SPF and a journal into my creaky station wagon and headed North.
What I found upon arrival, and with every step away from the parking garage, was an extraordinary sense familiarity. The cobblestone streets and shaded park squares were completely novel to me, but the reflection I saw in each shop window I passed was jubilantly familiar. Here I was in a brand new place, exploring timeworn beauty, being reminded of the same old self I’ve always been. It may have been the independence, or the sweet satisfaction of catching up with myself, but I felt more confident weaving through those foreign bookstores and galleries than I have in my own city in quite some time. I realized in my freedom that travel is an overlooked form of self-love, and a luxury we don’t often make time for.
At the end of my 12 hour trip, I steered South on 95 with an impressionist print for my apartment, worn sci-fi read, leftovers from a new favorite noodle bar, heavily blistered feet, and a reinstated dedication to my own self growth. If you don’t have the budget or foresight to travel very far this Summer, there are tons of places within driving distance to explore alone. Happy roaming this Summer!
Big Talbot State Island, FL
Hanna Park, FL
Savannah Historic District, GA
Devil’s Den, FL
Cumberland Island State Park, GA
Itchetucknee Springs, FL
St. Augustine, FL
Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, FL
Written by Mara Strobel-Lanka.