My therapist asked me the other day what’s important to me? What makes me want to get up and go? The first, obvious answer is writing. But I can’t do that all the time, I would burn out and run out of ideas. I clearly also love to read and play music, but what else? So she asked besides all of that stuff, what else do I like, and I immediately blurted out traveling to somewhere new. Not only do I love to go somewhere new, I love to plan the itinerary and figure out fun things to do while I’m there. A lot of people would find the planning part tedious and painstaking, but I find it fun and it gives me something to look forward to.
Which leads me to this post. I’m currently writing this sitting on a couch in a hotel room in Williston, Vermont with my husband Matt. It’s been a very long time since we traveled somewhere new, and I was feeling the void. And once my therapist asked me that question, it helped me realize that this is what’s been missing. I confessed my feelings to Matt and he’s like if that’s how you feel then yes, we should plan something! And that’s how we ended up here.
And as all travel adventurers know, you have to be flexible with your itinerary, or as much as you can. I had carefully planned this trip, but you can never predict mother nature. So we had to switch a few things up last minute due to lots and lots of rain being forecasted. But this morning we woke up early and went for an early morning run at Red Rocks Park in South Burlington before the rain, and I have to tell you, it was exactly what I’ve been missing. Being somewhere new, and especially in nature, is what I live for. It helps new ideas form for my books and just overall gives me a sense of peace. There is nothing like seeing the vivid colors of fall and a lake peeking through a grove of trees.
Right after I wrote the first half of this post, I received two rejection emails that stung. I was really excited about both opportunities and was hopeful something would work out. One actually gave very specific information on how I can improve my book and that if I heavily revise my manuscript, they would consider reading it again in six months. As much as these emails were disappointing (they came a couple hours apart), it was nice to receive real feedback, rather than the typical “I like your premise, but this isn’t a fit for me.” Now I’m in the process of thinking about next steps. As one person on Twitter told me “If you are getting specific feedback on how to improve, that means you are doing something right.”
The next morning I woke up early, reinvigorated and determined not to let the two emails ruin my mood on vacation. We ventured off for a hike at Mount Hunger before the rain was supposed to hit. It was our first hike in a long, long time so we were a bit rusty. I had found the Waterbury Trail and it looked really good online, rated a moderate hike, and ended in a panoramic view, my favorite! What I didn’t factor in was that the trail was going to have slippery wet leaves, rocks, and tons and tons of puddles. At one point there was a sign that said “TRAIL” and it pointed to the top of a waterfall. Somehow I jumped on the rocks and made it across without falling in the stream. I didn’t think I had it in me, usually I’m so clumsy!
Then the trail markings became less and less visible and increasingly steep with wet rocks. I lost track of how many times I slipped. We ran into some others on the trail and inquired about the trail markings and they said that’s just how the trail is and it gets more dicey near the top. As soon as they left, Matt and I looked at each other and pointed down. At first I was disappointed that we missed the view, but honestly, I was just hoping we weren’t going to hurt ourselves on our way back to the car, which we didn’t. Success! And we just so happened to pass Ben and Jerry’s headquarters on our way back to the hotel. It was almost as if I planned it that way, wink wink. When I got back to our hotel I did a bit more digging on the trail and found out that even if we got to the top, there was a 4 foot solid rock wall at the end we would have had to scale to see the view, so that would have been even more interesting! I guess “Moderate” hike in Vermont is my version of “Difficult.” Maybe someday that could be in the cards for us, but you know what, I’m just proud we went as far as we did without any injuries! And any hike that ends in delicious ice cream is alright in my book.
Now I’m back home, back to the daily grind and really missing Vermont. Vermont is my kind of place. Beautiful nature, great vegetarian food selections, yummy ice cream, and of course craft beer. It also is a slower pace of life where everyone is friendly. No large cities, and I wouldn’t call their highways real highways! I had been worried that I would have problems finding parking in downtown Burlington, but when we got there, I just laughed, because there was parking everywhere. Our trip ended with an extremely peaceful run right before our flight home in the middle of nowhere surrounded by farmland. We passed cows, sheep, heard a rooster crow, and Matt even saw a chicken cross the road. During the run, I felt at peace and ready to figure out the next stage of my manuscripts, whatever it may be.