Transitions: Change of Plans

looking out at the beach with bright blue skies
Shop Sight Favorites

August feels like Sunday. 

During this slow wake of summer, we typically depart NYC to embark on vacation or exploration (different!), discover or decompress, and postpone the rush of “back to” pressures from work, school, and fall campaign prep. In the span of my twenties, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Europe, South America, Central America, and the Middle East. In 2020 – my last year spent entirely in this decade – I would finally visit Asia to reunite with a best friend. Maybe I would make it to Australia before turning 30 in 2021? LOL. Cue COVID in New York City, extreme lockdown, ongoing uncertainty, and some intense cabin fever. 2020 delivered my first 12-month stretch without international travel since starting college, my first salary reduction since entering the workforce, and a new draft of my ever-reshaping career path – among other unexpected things. Welcome to adulthood, I know. 

Please allow me a quick moment to reflect on how unbelievably fortunate I am to have the recurring ability to pack up my things and board a plane elsewhere… I’m still taking this moment, but for the sake of your time, let’s move on.

What I really came here to say is that domestic travel is low-key next-level awesome. Once I received my second vaccination dose, and the temperature was warm enough to invite us all outdoors, I left my quaint NYC apartment and rolled over to Sag Harbor, New York. There, I reunited with close friends to celebrate the birthdays of two people I can’t imagine life without. A week later, my boyfriend and I reunited with his brother and girlfriend in Westerly, a quiet Rhode Island beach town. They were able to take a day off from Dermatology and Plastic Surgery residency at Brown U. to eat copious amounts of oysters and cornbread with us in an AirBnB. You’re right – absolutely a fair trade. But really, this adorable town is a 2-hour drive from Manhattan, and here I’ve been, year after year, daydreaming about how far across the globe I can catapult myself for ten days. Will we return to that beach next year, travel restricted or not? You bet. Come July, my aforementioned friend working in Asia was able to return to the US, and we decided a reunion in Portland, Maine was in order. I met her and two close friends that I hadn’t seen in ages on the edge of Manhattan in 90-degree heat, and a mere 8 hours later (not kidding), we arrived at our Airbnb. Our four days were spent eating lobster rolls, walking to lighthouses, trying new ciders, and cry-laughing (I freakin love Portland, guys). I said goodbye and drove down to Narragansett, Rhode Island (which is quickly becoming my most frequented state outside of New York) for another beachside week with my boyfriend’s family. And, just two weeks later, I was in Princeton, New Jersey, celebrating another close friend’s 30th birthday with the same bubble, or #quaranteam, as we call it. 

During a period of hyper-focus on an unpredictable, ruthless virus, I grew a new appreciation for my New England backyard, and for my own body. Let me explain: The most mundane experiences become sensational when channeled through the five senses. That’s it. By smelling and touching an oyster before I tasted it, I was finally able to differentiate varieties from Portland to Westerly. I hadn’t really appreciated the marble-like detailing on an oyster shell – instead, I’d typically knead out the meat before quickly discarding onto the ice and reaching for another. And the grounding act of just standing next to an ocean! I’d frequented many beaches before, but there’s something delicious about standing with your eyes closed in front of the Atlantic and feeling the salt air with every inch of exposed skin. That’s living. Taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound truly are pleasures of being alive.

Life out of a suitcase can be challenging, as can be the transition from apartment-only life to life on the road. After lots of trial, error, and a commitment to reinvigoration, here are the sense-enhancing non-negotiables currently tucked into my bag:

  • The Laundress Delicate Spray: This antimicrobial blend of simple ingredients extends the wash life of your more delicate, sensitive garments – but you know I’m spritzing everything I wear out in the humidity. It smells fresh and subtle, and I’ll never be caught traveling without it again.
  • Campo Travel Diffuser: Did I think I’d be that person who travels with a diffuser – or even owns one? Nope. But as a sensitive sleeper who does not like to over-caffeinate, this thing is a *chef’s kiss*. Any guest bedroom or AirBnb smells like home thanks to my lavender diffuser.  
  • The Laundress Wrinkle Release: Literally magic water. I don’t understand how this humble, clear liquid can be sprayed on every fabric and somehow make deep wrinkles disappear. But it does, folks. Once unpacked, I hang my clothes and spray. After a couple hours or so of hanging in the closet, you would think I had it dry-cleaned. 
  • Headspace App: Not really a packed item, but in the name of SenseForward (and my mental health), I’ve been trying to prioritize mindfulness this year, and Headspace offers an impressive library of meditations and sounds to calm, ground, and energize. All you need is a minimum of 3-5 minutes to yourself. Trust me when I say if I can do it, you can do it.

Have something to add? Tell us! We at SenseForward would love to hear (or taste, see, smell, touch) it. 

Previous Post

Transitions: City Life Post-Pandemic

Next Post

Transitions: Five Ways to Get Grounded – The Five Senses

Join The Conversation

Our Favorites for Sight

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *