8 U.S. Cities I Want to Visit (Part I)

As much as I hate the word wanderlust, I have to admit I’ve been feeling it lately. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m leaving for Montréal tomorrow, or that I have a honeymoon to plan, but I’ve been pining to get the hell out of Massachusetts. I thought I’d share a few of the destinations I’ve been wanderlusting over…

Nashville, TN

image via Visit Music City
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Jack White’s Third Man Records, image via @elsielarson

Apparently Nashville is blowing up right now! I had always thought of Nashville as the Grand Ole Opry place where country music (which I used to hate) was born, so I never had much interest in visiting. I even had a boyfriend in high school who was from Nashville, and still, it didn’t resonate. However, the power of suggestion is, well, powerful, and every musician/blogger/fashion designer/etc that I admire seems to be relocating to this city!

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FLWR SHOP, image via @flwrshop

My Instagram feed is basically all Nashville, all day. My mother actually texted me that she’s going there this weekend—so jealous!

Austin, TX

image cred

This one should be fairly obvious. Austin seems like the place to be. A hipster oasis amid the vast swaths of Texan land. I never had much interest in Texas growing up (are you sensing a theme?) but it seems like it’s really getting cool. One of our favorite bands, Hot Club of Cowtown, calls Austin home, but warns not to go during SXSW…

Austin & Nashville are currently duking it out for Team Fig Honeymoon Destination.

Austin, image cred

Portland, OR

image via Travel Portland

I can’t believe I’ve never been to Portland. Two of my cousins live there! I’ve been to California countless times but never north of the Bay Area. I guess that’s not totally unreasonable, seeing as SF to Portland is a stupid long drive (10 hours!)

Portland, image cred

Portlandia notwithstanding, it just seems like an amazing place to visit. I mean, Voodoo Doughnuts, hello! Everyone I know who has been there can’t wait to go back. Beyond that, I can’t help but picture Oregon as a massive, gorgeous forest, so I bet there are tons of hiking opportunities and general nature-viewing.

I also just learned, via their tourism site, that Portland has tax-free shopping?

Olympia & Seattle, WA

Seattle, image via Trip Advisor
Olympia Lake 1200x540.jpg
Olympia, image cred

Technically, with Olympia and Seattle, this is 9 cities, but I’d see them both on the same trip so…8 vacations?

Anyone who’s known me for a long time knows that my grunge phase extended FAR beyond the nineties. I was reading Kurt Cobain murder-conspiracy books in, like, 2005. Nirvana’s Nevermind came out right after I was born, so I was basically raised on the stuff, good (Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden) and bad (Bush, an objectively terrible band). As I got older, enter Hole and Sleater-Kinney. I’ve basically been primed to visit the Pacific Northwest since birth. I also worked at Starbucks for quite a while, in case I wasn’t enough of a walking cliché.

Pike Place Market, image 

I could probably never live in Seattle, because rain makes me want to bore holes in my skull, but I’ve always dreamed of visiting!

Boise, ID

Downtown Boise, image cred

Okay, so hear me out, because this is kind of a weird one. A regular customer at my old coffee shop used to live in Boise, and she couldn’t have been more effusive in her praise of it! Apparently it’s a hidden gem of the Northwest! I mean, look at that vista—mountains, fall colors?? Also, Built to Spill is from Boise, so it must be cool.

Charleston, SC

image via A Beautiful Mess

Charleston was the original honeymoon choice of my sister-and-brother-in-law (they ended up going to Disney). Right after they shared their idea to visit, my fave bloggers Elsie & Emma took a trip there and shared a travel guide on their site! Seems like such an amazing place to spend a weekend!

Savannah, GA

Take it easy with the pretty, Savannah. image credit

My best friend just took a trip to Savannah (she lives in Tallahassee) and she RAVED about it. So much so that we’re planning a trip here next spring! I’m sure I’ll have tons to share about it then. I can’t wait to go spend a weekend inside a Southern Gothic novel!

Chicago, IL

Salivating over this view. image cred

Yet another iconic city I’ve never been to! Honestly, the show Shameless has made me feel a little on edge about it, but not experiencing Chicago culture because of a Showtime series would be the definition of judging a book by its cover. I’ve heard that Chicago is a great city for art, and I may or may not be obsessed with art museums…

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John Hancock building, Boston

The moral of the story is, despite the fact that I live minutes away from one of the greatest and most historic cities in the Western hemisphere, Boston, I’ve become too complacent in my New England existence. I’ve really lost perspective. For instance, I live in the suburbs of Boston—conservatism baffles me! When people talk about evangelical Christianity, they may as well be talking about another galaxy! I mean, Donald Trump has a shot at ruling the free world, guys. As much as these things might vex (or terrify) me, there are 49 other states full of hundred of millions of people living completely different lives than mine.

Not everyone is privileged enough to live in affluent communities surrounding a city famous for its colleges and universities. The U.S. is so big (perhaps TOO big)—how can we really feel nationalism when you can drive 6 hours in any direction and feel like you’re in a different country? Before I die, I want to extensively visit every region, if not every state (sorry, North Dakota), in the U.S.

Where should I visit next? Send coffee shop recommendations!


Part II coming soon!

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