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Deep Summer Mode

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It’s usually around the first week of August that I enter Deep Summer Mode. DSM started for me this year in Asheville; I walked down the street each morning to hit my word count over a breakfast taco, then took my coffee with me to explore the city’s thrift stores, antique warehouses, and galleries, to eat a donut and visit a botanical garden, to scribble in my journal and scrawl out postcards, my camera strapped to my torso, wordlessly introducing me to everyone I met as the forever-tourist I’ve become.

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When I meet people and tell them I’m traveling alone, they sometimes look at me like I’m crazy. They don’t even know the half of it: I have a caring and lovable partner, kind friends and family, a home in which I feel safe. But I love to travel alone. I see the things I want to and skip the things I don’t, I pull out my book for a couple chapters wherever I find a good reading spot, I listen to my favorite albums on loop, I eat slow at the bar and take dessert to-go. Just doing what I want based on how I feel, rewarding myself and learning about myself, feeling both frivolous and introspective, no rush, no compromise, no rhyme or reason.

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