After adjusting to college life and being asked the introductory “Where are you from?” question about one million times, I’ve learned that a simple response will suffice: “middle of nowhere Maryland.” I’ve explained countless times that I live on the eastern shore, which isn’t the same as Bethesda or Potomac or Baltimore in any remote way. I’ve learned that “middle of nowhere Maryland” pretty much sums it up.
Except it doesn’t.
When you look on the map, Easton is not in the middle of nowhere. In fact, it is exactly halfway between our nation’s capital and the Atlantic Ocean. In just under an hour and a half I could be strolling on Capitol Hill sporting a tight high ponytail and a classy business suit or I could be lying in a beach chair with my toes in the sand staring ahead at the murky Ocean City water.
Basically, it’s not the middle of nowhere.
It may not be Nashville, or New York City, but Easton is quite a unique place. This past week two of my best friends from Vanderbilt – Amanda and Margaux – came to visit me in my small, eastern shore of Maryland town (hence my neglecting to post last Tuesday…oops!) Eager to show them the best of where I’m from, I planned something Maryland-y and exciting for each day.
Coming from such a small town, my hometown friends and I tend to spend each “boring” day of the summer dramatically claiming that there is absolutely nothing to do. As we all went away for college this past year, the feeling has been heightened as we compare the lively cities of our schools to the quiet town in which we grew up. We miss having friends who live just steps down the hall. We realize how frustrating it is that the mall is an hour away. Restaurants are scarce, shopping is minimal, and going out for a night on the town is downright impossible.
Yet my college friends absolutely loved their stay. From our day in downtown Annapolis as we lunched on Main Street and ate homemade candy apples to the boat rides on the Tred Avon, they found where I grew up to be entirely charming. We spent a day in downtown Easton – eating lunch, getting ice cream, and window-shopping at the local boutiques. We had dinner on the water with the tide less than 5 feet away from our table. We ate endless dishes involving the ever-so-famous Maryland crab. We found ourselves exhausted by the end of each night.
As I look back on my friends’ stay, I wonder why I don’t make the best of my town every week. With 3 months left of summer, there is no excuse to sit around waiting for nothing to happen. In a few years, we will all move out of our hometowns and into new cities. Whether you live in Easton, Maryland or New York City – this is your time. Go out and explore your town. Eat at all of the new restaurants; go on a daylong bike ride; picnic in every park; take advantage of wherever you live.
Summers in “middle of nowhere Maryland” may not be classically exciting, but there’s no reason they can’t be exceptionally memorable.