Longing for Elsewhere: Small-town Girl Begins to Globetrot

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Glenside, Pennsylvania
Conway Village, New Hampshire
Dublin, Ireland
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I lived in the small town of Conway in the mountains of Northern New Hampshire for my entire life. Many people stay in the town their whole lives, just like their families before them. Most are content with staying right where they are for the rest of their lives, but I am just the opposite.

I’m not sure exactly when my longing for elsewhere began, but it’s been with me for a while. I had little urban experience growing up, and what I did have was fleeting. My family took trips to a town south of Boston, and we always drove through the city at night. It must have been the lights and ephemerality that stuck with me, and at a young age I decided I wanted to be a city girl.

But no matter how long I love and live in cities, I know at heart I’ll always be the small-town girl with the pastoral home to return to, and I’m thankful for this. Just in the past year I have been able to travel and explore so many places that I probably wouldn’t have seen without being at Arcadia. I spent my first semester of college in London with the First-year Study Abroad Experience, which was life-changing. I learned so much about myself in those four months, such as my limits and capabilities, as well as how to handle stressful situations and navigate unknown territory without the constant aid of a GPS on my smartphone. While there, I ventured off to Ireland and Wales as well.

During the spring semester at the Glenside campus, I was able to explore Philadelphia with ease, as well as New York City—two of the closest cities to the Arcadia campus. Returning to campus just a few weeks ago again emphasized the difference between my two homes. The comparison between the landscapes of my hometown and current location is best displayed through photography, one of my passions.