“Travel” has come to mean a very different thing to me since I moved home after my college graduation and started my first corporate job.
I still daydream about sandy beaches, glittering city skylines, a backpack full of dirty laundry, and that rounded rectangular view out an airplane window. But for now, I settle for weekend getaways to old haunts that are within a reasonable driving distance.
My family has a cabin Up North. For Midwesterners, “Up North” is more of state of mind than a location. It’s a place of rustic quietude where you can escape the stressors of your daily life. It doesn’t even have to be north of where you started. I have a few friends who go “Up North” to lakeside cabins directly to the west of our hometown.
I feel a sense of undue pride about the fact that Up North involves actually driving three hours northward for my family. We’re from southern Michigan and our cabin sits up in the tip of the pinky finger of the Michigan mitten.
Being further north and closer to Lake Michigan means more snow, which is great for us as skiers, but winter poses some unique challenges. Sometimes the roads are so icy that our three hour drive takes closer to five. Sometimes you go days without seeing the sun because it rises after you get to work and sets before you leave. Sometimes it’s just too cold to leave the house.
But sometimes winter is feeling photogenic, and you make peace with it.
Michigan winters are long and sometimes emotionally gruelling, but the snowfall has a hypnotic beauty. And when the sun peaks out from behind the clouds you feel warmer, even if the end of your nose is still frozen.
Where is your happy place? Tell me about your Up North in the comments! ↓