For the longest time, I’ve pushed against the idea of leaving New York for the summer. It’s all happening in the hot hot sticky, and often, surprisingly sparse city. Brooklyn is beautifully quiet in July. In the evening, the echoing conversations, b-balls, and floating cigarette scent makes me feel at home amongst the wild beat. I know and have not wanted to know anything different for most of my life.
Leaving New York in the summer felt privileged, impossible, and for those not born here. And while much of that can still be the case in some arguments, I realize it also need not be so black and white. It is known to be said that when you’re from here, you don’t leave. There is nothing going on outside of your own streets that is more interesting or enthralling.
Now that River is 8, and Oak will be 5 in June, my relationship to sticking around in the summer has shifted yet again. After a summer of expensive camp drop-offs, unruly rent, a deep settling into a head of household position, and truthfully, a quieter work rythm that leaves room for more writing, I have been considering this heavily. In reality, this has been on my tongue since September when school began, and I was preparing for this season of book tours, readings, and events that I am in now. I knew, even back then, that I’d need a break from the city for a bit. What I didn’t know was that finacially, it wouldn’t just be a thought, it would actually make the most sense.
When the numbers break down, leaving New York for a few weeks or a month this summer, has a clear financial gain. It’s odd to consider that exploration and experience makes sense for my curious kiddos and myself. My career, too. It is odd to consider that maybe leaving home isn’t so black and white and good or bad, afterall.
And of course, these thoughts are still a thoughts-in-process, left for even more hammering sooner rather than later.
Do you leave home for the summer? If so, what are some key things that you consider to make it possible with kids?
(Photo by Katrin Korfmann)
I left Brooklyn last summer for about six weeks with my then almost 6-year-old. I freelance as a writer/editor/podcaster and most of my work is portable. I sublet my apartment to friends and went about 2.5 hours away; my folks live in the country and we stayed with them. My son went to a YMCA day camp, which outside of the city is a heck of a lot cheaper than anything around here, and I worked every day. It was a great break—quiet, pretty countryside and so forth, and very restorative before the new school year. I just may do it again this summer.
Thank you for sharing, Sara! I really love hearing (and reading) the experiences of others. It helps me feel a bit more comfortable with whatever decision i ende up making. Also, it seems like anything that we also have her (YMCA) is mindblowingly cheaper in other parts. Especially if you can sitll work. How did you do with getting into a work groove outside of the city?
Wow, the idea of being able to go somewhere for an extended bit like that sounds idyllic.
Hi Susan! I know! Hopefully it all works out. I will say because it does sound idyllic, I’ve written out a few times, it always feels unattainable for someone like me. The crossover is so hard. It’s like I psych myself out a bit.
I’d HIGHLY recommend Maine for the summer. Driving distance, very laidback vibe, affordable rents and easy to explore everything from sandy beaches to rocky beaches to hiking trails to fine dining!
Hi! I was really considering Maine. But in all honestly, I need trains, cafes outside, a bit fast paced, while still being a bit slow. I also do not drive. So easy public transportation. And because getting to Maine would be costly / hard to figure out, I think we will skip this year. But it is on my list to expreience with the kids in the summer with a friend!
Thank you so much!