The Adventures of a Backyard Traveler:
It wasn’t until I decided to move to Montana in the fall of 2015 that I finally explore New England. The summer of 2015 I travel to more places in New England than I have in my entire 49 years of living in this beautiful region. I have traveled all over the United States and abroad but I’m a stranger in my backyard.
Growing up in a family of four girls in Groton, MA, a quintessential New England town we rarely went on vacation. As we grew older however, we vacationed in North Haven Maine and on the Cape with our father. Every Fall we hiked Mount Monadnock hiking up the switchbacks to the summit and sliding down the rocky white dot trail on the way down.
Like many locals we avoid tourist traps. We are complacent in our monotonous routine. Maybe this mentality is the same as comfort food. We don’t venture out of our elements, our safety zone but rather enjoy what we know.
So many opportunities to explore, but I never did, until I was leaving. An out-of-town friend visiting opens my eyes to this beautiful region I call home. I become a tour guide not only for her but for myself. In twelve days we tour Salem and Boston on guided walking tours.
We explore the dunes of the Cape and the artsy town of Provincetown. We drive the coastal route to Bar Harbor Maine stopping along the way in fishing villages. Bar Harbor is the idyllic coastal Maine town next to Acadia National Park, where we spend the day hiking.
From there we cross the state of Maine into New Hampshire, and drive through the White Mountains. The leaves are starting to change colors. We hike a bit on the Appalachian Trail just to say we were on it. Our last stop is Franconia Notch State Park where we explore the Flume. I fall in love with New England all over again and I don’t want to leave but it is too late.
Fast forward two years later, I love Montana but New England is pulling on my heart-strings. I miss the four seasons, the maple trees that turn bright red in the Fall, the ocean, the deciduous forests, hiking without fear of Grizzly bears. Its time to come home. I believe in second chances so I pack up my car, with kayak in tow, say goodbye to Montana and head for home.
This time I vow to explore New England in-depth. Hence the name Adventures of a Backyard Traveler is born.