East Coast Part 1 | Trip to NYC

"What I can do is offer myself,
wholehearted and present,
to walk with the people I love..."

Shauna Niequist

We are in Part 1 of three weeks on the road. It's nearly all for my work. Caleb took off work and he and Rowdy are my sidekicks. We drove from Maryland to West Chester, PA for a mentor session, then to Dewey Beach, DE for a wedding the next day, we finished around midnight and drove through the night to Newburyport, Massachusetts for a wedding. The next day we visited Boston for our first time (and we adored it). We woke up and drove to New York City for a fast and crazy day in NYC with some of our favorite friends. Now we're nestled in Cape May, New Jersey before the next round of weddings this weekend.  

I often tell Caleb "Travel isn't the pictures people post. Travel is hard work." I love change and feel constrained and panicky in 'routine' (but I have a head-knowledge of its great effects, especially long term). But I love it. I love going, driving, packing, unpacking, packing, unpacking, checking schedules, meeting up with people, the memories. And it's so wonderful when it just works out: when you ask some friends if they can meet you in NYC for the day and they can. And they want to eat what you like to eat. And they have little boys too, so they know. And they can laugh at the stressful parts and you don't have to be as careful when you talk to them. It's the sighs of relief in life.  Thank you for making it happen Shorey/Baxter people! We love you!

im_kristen_nyc_trip (7 of 38).jpg
im_kristen_nyc_trip (8 of 38).jpg
im_kristen_nyc_trip (28 of 38).jpg

"It seems like just about every day, I send a text that starts with those four words. To Annette: 'Wish we were neighbors so you could tell me if I should keep these shoes.' Earlier this week to Laura: 'Wish we were neighbors so you could come over for coffee to discuss last nightโ€™s episode of Girls.' This morning to my dear college friends Kirsten & Monica: 'Wish we were neighbors so you could talk me down from my mounting book-release-related crazy.' Last week to Emily in Kalamazoo: 'Wish we were neighbors so we could take a dance class together. Wouldnโ€™t that be fun?' Sometimes I find myself thinking about the people I love, all spread out all over the country, and I think: why are we so far apart? Would it be insane to move houses or cities or states because of friendship? Doesnโ€™t it sort of make sense?

People move for jobs, for love, to be near their parents or in a city they like. People move to be in good school systems for their kids or according to Godโ€™s call to a church or ministry. People move for houses they fall in love with and shorter commutes. Do people move for friendship? Have you? Would you? This is what I want, in my secret crazy heart: I want to pick a neighborhood and put out the call: letโ€™s do this! Letโ€™s stop texting and seeing each other twice a year, if that. Letโ€™s pick a neighborhood, and letโ€™s move there and raise our kids together and have dinner together twice a week and go running together and put our kids on the same bus in the morning.

When you have friendships that are so dear to you, when you feel so seen and loved and connected and thankful for what these amazing people bring you, why wouldnโ€™t we change our lives, or  at the very least, our location for them?"

Shauna Niequist -- Wish We Were Neighbors