Traveling Alone And Heading To Salem


Sara Hosbach, Staff Writer

I awaited this trip – my first time traveling alone– yet as I walked through Terminal C and hugged my brother goodbye, the dread of being by myself turned my stomach around. Boston – a foreign city in comparison to my newly developed understanding of New York – was about an hour plane ride away and a venture I have yet to undertake.

Nonetheless, I braced through security, legs shaking, and sat by my gate, rereading “Little Women” and projecting the independence of Alcott’s characters in myself.

Only having been on a plane once before and ignorantly selecting a window seat despite my fear of heights, once boarded, I attempted to leave the shade up for the duration of the flight, instantly failing once in air.

When the plane finally steadied out and with it, my nerves, I eased the shade up and viewed the puffs of Massachusetts’s trees. Landing reminded me of my desire to travel, fueling my ambition, and I confidently rose to find my luggage, making a quick stop at a Dunkin.

Independence and caffeine flooded my veins. Once I collected my belongings and noted the difference between Logan Airport and Newark, I called my friend and waited for further assistance, recognizing I still needed to improve my knowledge on public transportation.

She showed me her apartment, and then she and her roommate then walked me through the streets of Back Bay, where we were to watch a jazz concert. Despite the day of travel dragging down the lids of my eyes, I was drawn to the talent on stage, each note beautifully sparking emotions.

Once the performance ended, my friend’s roommate kindly prepared dinner, and we chatted and laughed over the best tomato soup I have ever had in my life. I fell asleep to the restaurant music below their apartment and imagined one day living in a city apartment myself.

Waking Friday was a chore, but the excitement of the day moved my feet to get ready, spending the slow morning watching TV with my friend. When she had to venture to class, I took the opportunity to explore the area, stumbling upon the Boston Commons. I was entranced by the differing trees and large, fearless squirrels.

Whereas the previous day, the idea of being alone had me hunched over, the freedom Friday brought was reassuring. I soon returned to my friend’s apartment, where we decided to take a Boston Duck Tour. We sat around waiting for the scheduled Duck Tour, a mobile which, like a duck, can function on land and in water.

Upon boarding, we gleefully found our seats where our tour guide, “Wolfgang Duck,” greeted us as he relished in his failed cooking career, soon transferring the conversation to the history of the area which greatly intrigued me. The history I was so long taught was all around me, and I was examining it floating on the Charles River and driving through the streets with other curious customers.

The evening was met with another wonderfully homecooked meal and my friend and I planned our upcoming Saturday in Salem. We planned to wake early, but the late night did not bring this to fruition. We left later than intended and despite the unexpected uptick in traffic, I learned the rails of Boston.

Salem was packed, and for moments, I forgot the historic value of the area as vendors flooded the street. I appreciated the small businesses, stopping and shopping along the way. We came across the Witch History Museum, where the past of Salem was thoroughly explained.

Researching the trials before the trip, the Salem witch trials were a period of unfortunate events between 1692 and 1693 where several lost their life and fear swept the area as the threat of witches consumed citizens’ minds.

After recollecting these events, we continued down the strip of street, finding the harbor and imagining the land as it was when the Puritans arrived. We then decided to pay our respects at the Salem Witch Memorial, recognizing that while Salem has become an area representative of Halloween, tragic events still took place.

To lighten the mood of the evening, we found the Salem Commons, where three actresses put on the costumes of “Hocus Pocus” and were performing various songs, embracing the new definition of spooky in Salem. We admired the act for a while, but when hunger took over we headed to a lovely restaurant.

We stayed until the sky darkened and returned to gather milkshakes and spend the rest of the night giggling in the apartment. Sunday was bittersweet, as the morning was my final moments with my friend in Boston as I was to venture back to New Jersey in the afternoon. She took me to a quaint bookstore and cafe, where we enjoyed our breakfast and shopped around for longer than I assume either of us expected. We continued the rest of our morning with a walk around the Northeastern campus, which was a beautiful sight.

After our stroll, we exchanged farewells, and I hopped in an Uber for the first time by myself, bracing myself for the adventure back home. While I left my best friend in Boston, I gained a new insight for the area and my passion for travel was further evoked.