I never thought I’d find myself in the Pocono Mountains.

It’s not like I avoided going, but it was never a place that was on my “bucket list”. Being a native of Pennsylvania, I was aware of what they were, but I always thought that the main themes were skiing and serving as a playground for wealthy east coasters when they didn’t want to hop a plane to Aspen.

Yet here I sit. In a quaint, yet modern, cabin in the woods of Northwestern Pennsylvania celebrating the life of an awesome friend.

I’m always torn about writing about my domestic travels as I never think of them as particularly interesting, but I thought this trip warranted special consideration. I can say that my time in the Poconos was the relaxing getaway from New York City that I didn’t know I needed.

As an introvert, I was in heaven; though seven of us were in the cabin for the weekend, I was able to wake up fairly early and write without interruption which is harder to do on a Saturday in the city simply because of my usual social obligations.

The cabin we stayed in was tucked away in a large clearing down a short road. The outside wasn’t very impressive, but inside was an upgraded home with modern amenities: hardwood floors, remodeled kitchens and bathrooms, new-ish stainless steel appliances, and a washer/dryer (which I needed given my couch-surfing activities of late).

I think my favorite moments centered around the giant deer that frolicked in the yard in the mornings before sunrise. I suppose they can grow fairly large in the woods as there aren’t too many people around to bother them. The conversations around the fireplace in the evenings were also a high point. One learns so much about others in those situations when everyone feels sobriety melt away in front of a cozy fireplace.

I should also mention that this was my first Airbnb experience, and it was a good one. Typically, I like to stay in hotels when I travel, but my mentality might change given the great experience I had.

Unless you’re going to the Poconos to do an Emily Dickinson-esque “author who needs isolation” thing, I’d suggest getting a few friends together, many bottles of wine, and sitting in front of the fireplace “waxing idiotic” about life. The simple things.

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