Posted in Adventures

First Time Living On Your Own – Tips

Over a year into living in a home that’s not my parent’s, I feel like I have finally found a place of comfort. The first half of a year was terrible. I cried almost every night. I was sure I was not cut out for this “adulting”. For someone who never went away for college, I was 21 living with my boyfriend, four hours away from everything I knew for the first time in my life, and I was terrified. But moving away from home was also something I had always wanted to do, so I had to find a way to enjoy it. That didn’t actually happen until almost eight months after moving.

My first tip is to make your house your home. One of the hardest parts of having your first apartment with little money is the comparisons you make between the one bedroom you’re living in, and the beautiful three bedroom your mom kept. Push around the furniture in your living room until it’s exactly how you like it. Decorate the walls anyway your management allows. I hung white and blue Christmas lights around my living space to add a softer lighting, which made me feel more at home on nights that I was seriously homesick. Buy a cheap throw blanket and toss it over the back of your couch. My first couch came from a retirement home auction and a bean bag chair serves as my lounge chair. I found cute throw pillows at Walmart and made sure our bean bag chair was one of my favorite colors. Make sure your living space makes you feel at home.

My second tip: explore your town. It’s tempting to stay inside and watch Netflix all day, I know, I’ve been there. But, step outside. Even if it’s only for an hour a week. Even if it’s only five minutes. Find someplace to explore and make a list of each you enjoy – that way you can always go back to one if you’re feeling complacent. You don’t fall in love with a place by sitting on your couch.

Next, don’t be afraid to fall in love with your new town. Sorry, no pictures for this one, but it’s probably the most important on my list. I self sabotaged for months after first moving. No matter how much I left the house, I always found something to ruin the day. I was always too tired, too hot, too cold – until I realized the problem was me. I was too afraid to fall in love with a place that wasn’t Vermont. What I had to learn over time was that a person can love multiple places at once.

Find things that remind you of home and fill your new place with them. For me, this was pumpkin spice candles and brewing a fresh pot of coffee every morning. I decorated my walls with pictures of my family and places back home I loved. This way I could always be reminded that those things weren’t gone from me, just a bit further away.

And finally, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to “nail” this right away. Often it appears that people move away from their parents and are instantly living their best life. That’s rarely what actually happens. Living away from home is hard. Crying is okay and completely normal. Calling your mom at one in the morning because you just wanted to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie and you can’t remember what her special ingredient was is totally fine. Take this day by day. Keep yourself busy.

Living on your own for the first time can be the most beautiful thing you’ll ever experience. You just have to get through the rough patches first. You’ve got this.

Posted in Adventures

Block Island RI – My Experience

July 9th, 2019

My boyfriend Blaine and I have been dating for four years as of yesterday, July 9th. In past years we have been on a much smaller budget, so dinner and movies was usually how we would celebrate. While this served it’s purpose and was enjoyable, this year we decided to spend a bit more and take a day trip to Block Island, RI. From people I talked to and blogs I read beforehand, I wasn’t really sure what it expect. All that I could really gather was this one consensus – it’s expensive.

Gathering this to be true – but also worth it – please continue on to read the events of our day, start to finish.

When Blaine and I arrived to the docks for our 11:50 departing ferry, it became obvious today may not go as planned. We drove around the Water Street parking garage in New London CT, finally finding an open space on the third level. The elevator broken, we ran down three flights of stairs and across the street, finally finding the ticket booth at 11:45 after five minutes of raised voices and arguing over whether we’d even make our ferry in time.

At 11:50 almost precisely, we boarded the ferry and found window seats near the far end of the boat. After turning around once to pick up a group that had missed the departure (so much for our worries), we were finally underway.

ferry out

The hour and twenty minute ride was beautiful. I have always been in love with the ocean, so I was in heaven. We made sure to check out the very top, open level, which was gorgeous and boasted great views, but very windy, so we spent most of our time on the outside deck of the second level. Around us was open ocean, other sailing vessels, and the occasional bit of land rising from the water.

 

As the ferry approached the island, we rode along one whole side, lined with beaches dotted with people, dirt hillsides, and stretching acres of green grass. My first impression before stepping off of the ferry was that this island was very alive. This was only confirmed when we got off.

Upon exiting the ferry, we were standing in a parking lot facing very colonial style buildings and streets lined with bicyclists,  mopeds, pedestrians, taxis, and mostly out of state license plate cars.

After stopping at the welcome center for a map of the island, we continued up Water Street in Old Harbor, in search of lunch. Hungry and not too interested in searching too long for food, we stopped in at a restaurant called The Surf, located inside the Block Island Beach House Hotel, on Dodge Street. This was a wonderful decision, though a quick one. Our outdoor table was right by the railing and looked directly out to the open ocean. Blaine ordering a burger and I fish tacos, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch, pricey for a young couple, but very worth it.

view from restaraunt

Fully and ready to explore, we began down Water Street, stopping in at the many touristy shops lining the street. One thing new to me was how free everyone was. People were dressed completely in bathing suits or swim trunks, in and out of stores. Others walked in the streets and crossed without concern. Music played from docked boats and shops alike.

After some consideration, and having not decided if we were leaving on the 4:50 or 8:10 ferry, we decided we would at least see the Southeast lighthouse and Mohegan Bluffs. This is where there was a slight wrench thrown in our day. Seeing the trek was only 1.6 miles, we decided to walk.

All uphill and very hot, both dressed in flip flops, we made it to the lighthouse, and decided to call for a taxi to bring us back to Old Harbor, quitting on the idea of Mohegan Bluffs, praying our 9 dollars cash would be enough, and both pretty discouraged and ready to leave at 4:50.

Calling from a list in a free brochure I had picked up, of course the first we called was no longer in service. However, the lady who picked up said she would called a friend who was and call us back. We sat on the grass at the lighthouse for twenty minutes. She never called back.

Now pretty angry, and regrettably not really able to enjoy the scenery at the lighthouse in our current mindsets, we decided to begin the walk back to Old Harbor.

When we waved down a taxi about ten minutes down the road, our spirits immediately began to lift. The young man began making conversation, and upon learning we were from Vermont, told us he had met people from all over, but had never met a person from Vermont he did not like. Towards the end of the roughly 1.5 mile ride we worriedly asked how much the fare would be. He told us 12 dollars. We only have 9, but offered to run to an ATM and get the rest as soon as he dropped us off. He shook his head, saying he could tell we were good people and 9 dollars was just fine.

Moods lifted and a new pep in our step, we stopped at an ATM and took out some cash, bought 8:10 ferry tickets, then caught a new taxi to Mohegan Bluffs. It was well worth the anxiety and stress of the first half of the day. Breathtaking views, cool and refreshing ocean water, and a kind woman in a sparkly dress agreeing to take our photo. We spend a while there, just walking along the beach and sitting at the overlook, taking in the beauty in awe. Our initial trek had limited our time and therefore the amount of things we could see, but if I had come and only seen Mohegan Bluffs, I would have been satisfied.

Using the card our second taxi driver had given us, we called him back for a return ride into Old Harbor. Down a couple side streets we went into stores we had missed, I found a shirt, the only touristy item I had wanted to take back with me. With an hour and a half before our ferry, it was time to find dinner and use the remaining time to explore.

We found dinner at Harbor Grill, fish and chips for me, a chicken sandwich with fries for Blaine. We both treated ourselves to an adult refreshment, paid, and then spent the last half an hour walking along the rocks that jut out into the ocean, and along the beach.

The ferry ride back boasted an amazing sunset over the water, and the cost of the parking garage was substantially lower than I had calculated.

All around, we only saw pieces of the island, but it was an amazing experience anyway. The island was beautiful, the atmosphere unique to which I had only experienced the likes of in Hawaii, and the vibes magical. My only regret on completion of the day was having to step off the ferry and return home.