I wanted time and space to write, so when an opportunity arose to attend a writing retreat in Vermont, I seized the day and signed up. I also called my friend, Jocelyn Dorgan. Jocelyn was in the midst of plotting out her second chick-lit book, a sequel to her first self-published novel. When I described the weeklong workshop, she eagerly accepted the invitation.
Just like that, we became road warriors.
Little did we know that the first trip together was going to be so memorable. We traveled the six hours up to Vermont talking about our lives, laughing about our families and musing about our upcoming stay in the bucolic Green Mountains. Our get-away was successful in that we both got some words on the page and met like-minded souls who we could count as our writer’s tribe. We said our goodbyes after a week of living and breathing our stories and vowed to remain connected.
Since that first experience, Jocelyn and I made it a point to search out other places where we could be road warriors once more. We love to go on adventures to fuel our creativity and get ideas for our blogs and our books. We’ve explored locally in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Brooklyn, but recently, when one of our writing retreat friends asked us to visit her home in the “armpit” of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, we could not wait to hit the highway again.
We both relish long drives and the preparation that goes into them. First, you pack, then you purchase the snacks and drinks for the ride, check the route, fuel up the car and set off. We prepare a playlist, and even though we both adore music, we end up talking the entire time. We spit-ball creative ideas for plots or pieces. We share tips and solutions to overcome our blocks and just shoot the breeze about our lives. We are so wrapped up in conversation that we are surprised when we arrive at our destination. The time always flies.
This excursion was no exception. Our host Kimberly Ward invited us to dig for quahogs in the silky, sandy, mud of Brandt Island Cove, just beyond her back door. We shrieked with delight as we got the hang of collecting the giant clams that we planned to prepare for dinner. We toured the idyllic seaside village of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, and got a feel for the place our friend calls home. That night over garlicky linguine and clam sauce and glasses of crisp white wine, we reconnected, shared stories, and plotted our stops for the next day.
Our morning unfolded gently and without the stress of being somewhere at a particular time. We walked along the coast, got rained out of yoga at the Buzzards Bay Brewery and stayed to sample the flights instead. We explored the tiny towns of Westport, Fairhaven, and New Bedford with their tucked-away shops, cobblestone streets, and whaling history, which made for a day of delightful discovery. We had no sense of urgency and shared the love of adventure and exploration that bonded us back in Vermont.
The next afternoon, when the visit came to an end, we went down to the local roadside restaurant, Oxford Creamery, famous for lobster rolls and fried clams. We sampled off each other’s plates and feasted on the traditional foods of New England. We hugged each other hard before we said goodbye. Our creative juices were brimming, and our connections were strengthened. We waved as we drove out of the parking lot and spent the next few hours lost in storytelling, dreaming, and loving the road back to home.