You know how a good song playlist can motivate you to run miles? Have you ever experienced a pumped up feeling after watching a documentary about hiking across the world or crushing a bucket list? For a moment, that feeling urges you to book a flight or buy those hiking boots. Ok, so maybe you’re not into hiking or music doesn’t move you; but, somehow, you’ve experienced a call to action. You have come face-to-face with an emotional trigger that excites you to the core.
It is human, it is your beating heart reminding you that you exist to create and express…
The feeling of wanderlust is that pumped up feeling for me. Let’s define that term: not a desire for one place in mind (like wearing a Caftan in the far off mountains of Tibet), rather, wanderlust is a movement of heart which calls you to wander with no place in mind. Experience that feeling of carefree joy where you are NOW. My job calls me to a nearby town, I find a space that curates the wanderlust feeling. I try to build in an extra hour to my appointment to sit and enjoy what the community offers. One foggy Thursday I ventured to Ellicott City for work, but received so much more. I’ve got nothing but gratitude for this local adventure. This day, I saw a big home etched into the cliffs and sipped on the most delicious lavender latte that’s ever been.
Historic Ellicott City is 247 years old. About 10 generations of people have soaked the land with memories. As you meander down the narrow Main St corridor, you can feel the saturated, emotional history of this neighborhood. It has a definite, resilient identity, impossible to ignore and it is stunning. The bulk of homes were built between 1775 through 1865, but a resurgence in 1911 colonials scatter the hill which overlook downtown. Pulling up to a brick-faced restored home, I approached with reverence. It had the original layout at the front of the home: 6 living rooms with fanciful wood details. So many layers and gosh, what did people do with all of those parlor rooms!? My imagination soared. Walking through a butler’s pantry I see classic black & white checkered tile.
As I slid the pocket door open a new world unfolded and bursting light poured in. The new addition off the back was not a painful transition, though. From the original home to new modern, it blended. Something new can be seamless with the old when it incorporates the environment. The addition was open concept, modern, lurching cathedral ceilings- a stark contrast to the original style. But it worked somehow. Floor to ceiling windows brought in Historic Ellicott City to the space. There is no choice but to look out and know exactly where you are. The fixtures and details tastefully match the old, the little things in this case do add up. A dramatic lookout carried some of the checkered flooring through, in a magical sort of way (one of my favorite details). The design of the home let the outside environment dictate the feeling indoors. It was a thrilling tour, one that left me eager to explore the downtown area this home overlooked. And so I went…
That is when I made it under the train bridge, across the river to Old Mill Cafe. As you meet the front door, you’re greeted with a sign which reads, ‘COME IN WE’RE AWESOME & OPEN’. How can that not put a brief smirk on your face? A glance to my left at the red train bridge, I push the door open only to see the same red hue on the wall of the coffee shop. Oh you guys! They get it! Totally seamless and totally intentional. They allowed the environment to pick the wall color. Surprised to find out after I left, this coffee house is new to town as of 2018. Residents and business owners evidently love to maintain the unique thumbprint incorporating both historic details and the scenery, I learned that first hand. This is Ellicott City and a clear voice resounds. Molded by the diversity of the people, the river, the landscape and 247 years of history. Check out my the full details of this visit HERE.
Not far from my own home, I felt light years away; it was unintentional that I ended up there. A true wander. Man, was it peaceful and fun, so so fun. With Main Street in my rear view mirror, I went home to write, feeling insanely creative. As I type this, I vividly recall the sincere happiness as I drove home. Encouraged by the new businesses cropping up and motivated by the sights of old shops who cling on to their craft after all that has occurred, I needed put it all down. The day will come when I have a buyer looking for a feeling just like this in a home space and I cannot WAIT to share the beauty I have found.
So….you scrolled to the bottom just to get a synopsis
- Go! Support businesses who are reviving Main Street. There are more than coffee shops- delicious wine bars and restaurants, a yoga studio, art gallery, antique furniture shops and jewelry. It is a place for those who appreciate artisan craft
- Be sure to read my Short Stack post on Old Mill Cafe coming soon
- You can blend a new addition to your home (maybe it is a new bathroom, or a putting in open shelving) by incorporating elements of the environment, or history of the neighborhood.
- Find a place in your own neighborhood, town, county or state that give you the feeling of being in a far-off land. you don’t need to be an IG influencer to experience the love of brilliant places
- Decorate your home space with visuals, scents and playlists that get you motivated to create or do something to better yourself
- Go hike! 🙂