Montauk: Part I

^^ Navy Beach. ^^

This weekend I packed up as many books as I could carry in my duffle bag and put Brooklyn in the rearview mirror as I set my sights on Montauk. I’ll be honest, I knew nothing about Montauk until about a month ago. If someone had asked me how I thought one gets to Montauk, I would probably replied, “Is that in upstate New York? Train? Flying on the back of a large bird?” So after a bit of research (thank you Bonnie!) and an actual sit down with a map, I’m now perched on the tip of Long Island traipsing around with my raspberry backpack and letting my Nikes take me from one bakery to the next.

With the summer crowds yet to descend on the island, Montauk is quiet. So quiet in fact that I’ve been here four days and already run into a handful of the same people numerous times. It helps walking everywhere, though after covering 10.2 miles yesterday I parked myself in front of “When Harry Met Sally” and didn’t move again for two hours. The Main Street is small, with restaurant gems such as John’s Pancake House, Naturally Good Foods, Montauk Bakery, and Left Hand Coffee. But with the beach just a few streets away, I’ve loved just being able to walk for miles on the sand enjoying the positive ions rolling in. Sure, I’ve had some life revelations but mostly, I’ve just spent the days giving my brain a rest and thinking about nothing in particular at all.

My bucket list still includes a bike ride to the lighthouse, eating at Joni’s, a candlelight yoga class at Yoga Lila on Wednesday, a hike within on of Montauk’s many state parks, and a final visit to Montauk Bakery for more jelly-filled crescents.

^^ One of my favorite places in Montauk. ^^

^^ The neighborhood walk between my hotel and town, Ditch Planes beach, and a look on top of Millionare’s Row overlooking Navy Beach. ^^

It’s been easy to fall into a routine here. Walking on the beach or within the sprawling neighborhoods around my hotel, hiking to delicious restaurants (Navy Beach, you were a stupidly long trek until I discovered a shortcut coming back), and reading within the one coffee shop I’ve found open. At night, the allure of curling up with a glass of wine and books (which yes, I bought more of at the local bookstore) is like a Siren call I can’t deny.

Before traveling up here, I couldn’t shake the nagging fear that I would get lonely. Or if I didn’t get lonely, that made me a “funny girl” as they say in “Beauty and the Beast.” It’s no secret that I enjoy A LOT of alone time. It’s how I recharge — especially in a city like The Big Apple. But what I’m learning overtime is that loneliness is a natural emotion, it happens to everyone. It’s okay to let the wave hit you and then to let it go by calling a friend, reading, or doing something active. No, I’ve yet to be lonely in Montauk. I’ve spent my days making my own adventures, on my own time schedule; shedding the dead skin of winter and not setting a time limit on things. I’ve made an effort to stop rushing myself as well and man, I am enjoying it. I spent an hour reading book covers in Two Sisters Bookstore before selecting exactly what I wanted. This little action then lead me to sit down and fully finish articles I’d bookmarked for months and enjoy Hasan Minhaj’s White House Correspondent Dinner Speech. It’s funny but by giving myself permission to fully enjoy my time, suddenly I seem to have so much of it.

Well, I’m off to find Joni’s Wraps and maybe a beer at the Montauk Brewing Company. Then a day of writing and edits — cheers!

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