By Kirsten Corssen
Traveling Always Brings You Home
They say home is where the heart is, usually consisting of four walls and a welcome mat. But for us home is where the ocean is, where a fly bridge and a “Welcome Aboard” mat are found in every neighborhood. We may not all live on Fire Island year round, but we most definitely consider it our home. After a long winter away it is nice to know we are able to return home to our island. As we trotted along to our various winter adventures we could not help thinking of our beautiful summer home. At least I sure did. I spent the winter road tripping the Florida coast, relaxing in Key West, island hopping in the British Virgin Islands and drinking too many margaritas in Cabo. Throughout my travels I found my mind drifting back to Fire Island and I somehow always found something that reminded me of our hometown.
St. Augustine, Florida
Just a three-hour plane ride and you’re able to swim in the ocean all year around. I flew back and forth just about every other weekend to this small town in northern Florida. Here the surf culture is big, and the town is vintage and adorable. I spent my weekends surfing in constant waist high waves while trying to avoid getting ripped by the current into the peer. While out surfing my mind would drift to the warm Fire Island days when I was swimming, surfing and doing just about any water sport in the comfort of a bathing suit. These weekend trips to the warmth made the winter a little less cold and kept my mind off how many days until my hometown would be warm again.
Key West, Florida
After a windows-down, music-up, kind of road trip I found myself at the most southern point of the USA. I spent my week sailing up and down the coast, enjoying the nightlife and constantly biking around the small town. With my leg muscles feeling tight and my bottom sore I couldn’t help but remember my Fire Island summer spent on my bike. What I love most about Fire Island is how you can get everywhere you need to go by bicycle. This is also what I loved most about Key West. I would bike to the beach every morning then bike to the bar at night. Doesn’t get better than a warm night and a bike ride to take you anywhere you want to go.
The British Virgin Islands
One must be on island time to understand the British Virgin Island culture. It is different from Fire Island time because it moves even slower. No one is in a hurry to be somewhere or to do anything. It is more of a “you get there when you get there” vibe, whether when you are out to eat, waiting in line at the store or walking to work. This is refreshing from the New York mentality but frustrating as well. After an unreal 10 days with my two Fire Island sisters, we were all craving the New York fast paced lifestyle. The unique thing about the British Virgin Islands is the lack of cars and road transportation. The main way to get around these islands is by boat. We had a 6-foot Zodiac that zipped us around the Caribbean Sea to multiple islands with beaches to explore and new people to meet. The lack of roads and boat living reminded us all of the Fire Island atmosphere, except for the crystal clear water.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
The Pacific Ocean is much different than the Atlantic. The waves were overhead and the surf was heavier than I’d ever experienced. After a long day of surfing we would head out to town for dinner. The main strip consisted of a large marina off to the side. Here you could see boat after boat attracting your eye. As I walked down the marina dock I found my mind drifting off to the docks of Fire Island and how mesmerized I would be by the boats as I strolled along.
After a year of traveling it is great to return home to the shore that has my heart but enough of my winter travels, I’d love to hear about yours. Maybe you’ll even make the paper. Send me an email or message me on Facebook.