Hi. My name is Kristen Sarra and it’s been 24 days since my last flight.
The first 5 days proved the hardest. Upon waking, I’d stumble over to the suitcase lying on the living room floor, staring for an embarrassingly lengthy amount of time wondering where the hell my clothes went. By Day 6 I’d scribbled try the closet you f****** idiot onto a post-it note, sticking it over the case’s zipper.
It would be another week before I realized I was still using my travel toothbrush.
Day 18 brought the physical withdrawals. The restlessness. The constant fidgeting. I’d pace the apartment. Walk the riverfront. Try anything and everything to keep the antsiness at bay. Nothing worked.
That is until 10 minutes ago when I hopped into the backseat of the cab I’m writing from this very moment. The one heading due east.
Straight towards the airport.
This happens every summer.
Take a break, I tell myself.
Don’t let yourself get burnt out.
What can I say? I make a convincing case; conveniently forgetting the painful onslaughts of restiveness that always catch-up to me.
November through May are my busiest travel months; and while a bit slower, August, September, and October aren’t exactly restful either. To keep my sanity (and some semblance of a normal life) I always make a conscious effort to spend June and July home in New York City.
Well, mostly home.
I avoid international trips during this time but hey I’m still a travel writer. Two months without any travel at all would send me down the rabbit hole. And I’m really not all that resourceful so the chances of me coming back from it are slim.
Since my last monthly preview the only destinations visited were Washington DC and Key West, FL. Both of which were long weekends spent with two different groups of close girlfriends.
- Playing with penises in Key West: jeez guys – chill. I don’t mean the real ones. Ok wait. That doesn’t sound much better. Let’s start over – I was on a bachelorette party (probably should have led with that) which means it was perfectly acceptable that I sent a text to my fellow bridesmaids asking how are we on penises? Do I need to pick some up? I did indeed need to pick some up. Phallic water guns filled with alcohol may or may not have been involved. More on this trip coming soon.
- DC Brau in Washington DC: my new favorite brewery EVER. The entrance is tucked away behind a gravel lot framed with a barbed wire fence. Once inside, it’s casual and cozy. Flights of their recommended brews come in plastic cups, the name of your poison illegibly scribbled in permanent marker. A table stockpiled with board games lies in the corner which gave my friends and I the perfect excuse to catch-up while playing Clue all afternoon. You can read about the full DC trip here.
- Brunch at Blue Heaven in Key West: I’m from Pensacola Beach, a small beach town in the Panhandle of Florida. It’s a close knit community reminiscent of Stars Hallow with its colorful cast of characters, the only thing difference being snow is substituted for sand. It’s a laid-back place where you can wear gym shorts and tank-top to the bars. I’m also pretty positive heels were outlawed at some point in the town’s history. Key West has similar vibes which is why I love visiting. Stepping into Blue Heaven was like stepping home. Its massive back patio holds outdoor seating, a bar serving damn good spicy Bloody Mary’s, and live music. It’s the type of place you can hangout at all day. I actually recommend NOT making a reservation. Having to wait 2 hours in an atmosphere like that was half the fun. Over half the fun actually. We drank, laughed, and danced (in my beloved shorts and tank top). It was crowded but in a good way. The food is fantastic – especially the Lobster Benedict. Our born-and-bred Key Westian friend Becca led us to this local favorite. Thank you Becca and see you in 6 hours!
June was also one of my biggest writing months – not that you can tell from the measly 2 posts published on the site this month. The majority of these assignments were done outside the scope of this blog. With those now out of the way, I can go back to giving this site (and by extension you guys) my full attention.
What’s Coming Up In July?
July will be similar to June with only two trips planned.
I know it’s made my social media and snapchats boring lately but be patient – I’ll be back on the international circuit soon.
Destination #1 – Los Angeles, California
As mentioned earlier, I’m typing this from the back of a taxi en route to JFK where I’m on the lovely 8am flight out to California.
This trip is personal rather than business-related as my friend Christy (of penis-picture fame above) is getting married! While I won’t get to explore much of LA, her wedding festivities are interwoven with some pretty cool settings.
Her rehearsal dinner is at The Magic Castle – a private members-only club for the Magical Arts. The venue is host to world-class magic shows, scenic views of Hollywood, unique bars, and other eccentricities. Christy and her fiancé are members and I’ve been DYING to go since they first told me about joining years ago.
The wedding is taking place at Greystone Mansion aka Chilton (for those who got my Stars Hallow reference earlier). It’s an iconic filming location featured in The Holiday, Spiderman, The Social Network, Star Trek, and many more.
Destination #2 – Hudson Valley, New York
Confession – I’ve lived in New York City for five and a half years and have never been to the Hudson Valley.
That is so pathetic.
I’m hellbent on rectifying that this month though I’m not sure where I’m going just yet. I’ve been researching towns like Sleepy Hallow, Hastings-on-Hudson, and Tarrytown. I’ve you have any favorite spots in the Hudson Valley please let me know! I’m looking for a town with easy access to hiking trails and fun festivals or events.
Blog News and Announcements
1. Annual Reader Survey
This travel blog is written for you just as much as it is for me! I want you to enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I love getting messages from you guys and the positive support you’ve given me over the last two years has been unbelievable.
I want to keep providing you with information that YOU’RE interested in so I’ve created a quick survey. An outlet where you can let me know what you like (and just as importantly dislike) about the site, what you want more or less of, and what you’d like to see in the future. It also allows me to get to know you better!
I made it as easy as possible for you to fill out and it’ll only take about 5 minutes to complete. It’s multiple choice with an optional text box for additional comments. Please fill it out no matter if your feedback is completely negative or completely positive. It’s anonymous so I won’t hunt you down if you say something mean (though please stick to constructive criticism – I am human after all!).
2. Project Alpha Book Project Update – Our Fundraising Goals Were Exceeded by Over $2,000!
For those that don’t know, I’ve been involved in a charity book project these last few months pulling together travelers from all over the world to write about the one trip that changed their life. The intent is to show how transformative travel can be while simultaneously giving back to the communities that have changed travelers’ lives for the better. Sales proceeds of the book (of which I’m an editor and contributor) are being donated to two charities – Save the Children and Unbound.
Our fundraising goal was $8,000 and we raised $10,360!!!
Thank you to everyone who purchased the book and helped us obtain this incredible achievement. We could not have done it without you. The finishing touches of the book are being put together thanks to the incredible efforts of Hung Thai from Up Up And A Bear. It will be shipped out the first week of August. I submitted the foreword earlier this week and I’m so excited to see the finished product.
Well, that wraps up this month’s plans. To all my American readers, have a lovely 4th of July weekend!
What are you up to this month? Let me know in the comments below!
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