This post comes from our blog intern, Aubrie!On a recent trip north to the lovely state of Vermont, I realized that I tend to fall in love with places. With each meaningful journey there holds one specific emotion tied to my spirit. Upon visiting each spot, this strong connection is established, and the urge to return becomes apparent after leaving, making these places much more than just vacation destinations. Call me a dreamer, wanderer, explorer or whatever the word may be… but I’m constantly searching for those experiences and emotions. They have become so important that I think of them as pieces of my heart that help me remain free.
I’ve been traveling to the state of Vermont for as long as I can remember. Family vacations spent staying with an old friend in his lake house and wandering through the vast landscape are deeply engraved in my memory. Each year my family has made the trip twice: once in the winter and once in the summer. In the summer we spend hours in the water and under the sun on the quaint backyard lake and in the winter we explore the icy environment and snow-capped peaks. I return each time accompanied by different experiences, different people and different feelings as the mountains seem to turn from green to white in endless cycles.
When I was younger, the trips seemed ritual and almost monotonous. But in recent years I have discovered a more personal meaning and found myself making the trip more and more often. Lakes, mountains, forests and villages comprise the Champlain Valley that surrounds the small city of Burlington, Vermont. Every time I return to the valley I feel as though I have stepped into a state of genuine being. Something about being surrounded by nature in a rustic setting just makes the place feel so authentic.
I cross over the sheet of ice that is Lake Champlain into Vermont, leaving New York’s Adirondack Mountains in my rear-view mirror. The road ahead begins to wind, twist and turn from a busy highway into a panoramic farmland scene. As I pass by rural, family-operated farms, I notice worn wooden signs proclaiming local cheddar cheese or real maple syrup sold there, at the source. This vintage signage is the only advertising for miles. I’ve never seen a billboard or commercial sign within the entire 9,250 square mileage of the state. Instead, the natural beauty of the mountainous landscapes and surrounding farms speaks for itself. As I make the road trip, I am reminded of authenticity in my surroundings and it transpires into my psyche.
There so many different countries, states, cities… even people in the world. Each place, no matter how big, small, near, far, rural or metropolitan possess its own characteristics and culture. And with each unique personality, I think an individual’s soul matches a range of places they consider special. I’m still exploring all the places that are special to me, but one thing’s for sure… when you find a place that overwhelms you with emotion, you know a part of you is connected there.
+What emotions have you connected with in special places?
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