Making Friends at the Outer Banks of North Carolina
I recently visited the Outer Banks of North Carolina. My first family trip there in 10 years, and one that before those ten years, I had taken for as long as I could remember.
I wanted to write a very positive "everything turned out perfectly!" story about my trip to the Outer Banks. In fact, I did write it, but nothing about it felt genuine.
The last time I was here I was 16. Growing up, it was a regular thing for our family to vacation here. Eleven years later and I can feel how far I am from those memories. I can still remember the way the air sticks to you and the way the ocean tastes, but I couldn't remember the pure joy of body surfing alongside my father, or the moments at 7am, sipping on cups of coffee with my family and hearing stories about my childhood.
And I wanted to spend every second with my family and hold onto those memories, because they are so few and far between. But I was also the only unmarried, uncommited person in the house. And it made me sad, because I wondered if I would someday wish I could share these memories with people.
So I reached out to strangers, which is my new norm. And I made these wonderful new memories that I don't have to be sad about losing or forgetting. Now I have memories of being surrounded by chance encounters with strangers, paddle boarding on the ocean, running up and down the beach with dogs, sharing beers while the sun beat unforgivingly down upon us. Sharing the small moments that make us who we are, school, lovers, ex lovers, passions. Sometimes its daunting, the amount of small talk you have to make when meeting strangers. But soon enough those questions can lead into you memories with someone who lives thousands of miles away, that you will never see again.