#6 Whole New World, Well, Island.
I will admit that my adventurous spirit and boldness sometimes verged into naiveté. When I had planned the itinerary from Boston airport to Nantucket island, I realized I could not do it all in one day. My plane was arriving too late for me to make it down to Cape Cod and catch the last ferry. I was not worried as I thought of myself as a semi experienced backpacker. I would simply spend a night in a hostel. But up to this point I had only backpacked in Europe and Asia so I was not at all prepared for what awaited me in Boston. Holy Sh*t! I arrived at the hostel in the suburbs of Boston jetlagged and exhausted from the excitement of the journey and the hostel was anything but relaxing. This is how I spent eighty bucks for an almost sleepless night in a big shared dorm filled with people who spent the night arguing and partying. I did not feel safe and the anxiety kept me up. I was waiting for the dawn to finally come. When I got up at first light, I quickly packed my things and left the hostel without giving it a second glance.
So I made my way towards Nantucket and Jill. After a long walk, a ride on a fast train to Boston, and another ride in a bus, I finally arrived at Cape Cod, where I walked on board the ferry.
Please do not laugh but until I arrived at the shoreline of Cape Cod, I had (European that I am) imagined all of this to be so much smaller. I actually thought it was possible to swim to Nantucket from the mainland by having looked at it quickly on a map. Well, welcome to the vastness of America, Sarah. Ironically enough, Nantucket actually means the faraway land.
“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”
― Victor Hugo
I love being on the deck of boats. Whenever I am, childhood memories come floating into my head like whales suddenly breaking the surface of the sea. My imagination took me back to my childhood, when my father and I were standing on the deck of an old Greek tanker, our noses in the breeze and freedom in our hearts.
That day was Memorial day. It was a sunny summer day with a perfectly cloudless blue sky. I could feel the celebratory spirit in the air as the ferry approached the island. The marina and the outlines of the town with the white steepled churches looked like they were from a Disney movie. I would not have been surprised if fairies would have appeared to sprinkle some glitter over the whole scene. What was this place? It did not feel real!
When I walked down the landing of the ferry and into the open embrace of my aunt Jill, she told me “Welcome and well done, sweety” all the exhaustion of the long journey and the distress of the last night evaporated.
Travelling is like life itself, just with a higher frequency in which we experience ups and downs. I was learning that I could live through uncomfortable and straining moments, that they too always come to pass and that sunshine is around the corner. Life is always flowing, always changing and I was learning to go with the flow!