On a whim I decided to chop off six inches of my hair. This is usually a sign that I am ready for a change of pace. More than halfway of the semester was over, and I was already exhausted by the mundanities of my day-to-day routine.
My fool-proof solution? Get away from home, wherever that may be, and spend a day away from all of your responsibilities and social life. Be okay with being by yourself. Spend time in a place where no one may know you. Remember how it feels to be alone. It’s like that old saying—if you only had one day to live, what would you do? Well, it doesn’t have to be as morbid as that, necessarily. But in my 21 years of living on Earth, I’ve quickly learned that no matter how stressed you are, or how stuck you feel in the everyday, every single moment ahead of us is fleeting. So if you can, take some courage to escape for a little bit, ground yourself, and come back feeling charged to accomplish your goals. A day trip is not enough time to get behind on your commitments, and it is totally worth it for your mental health and sanity.
I flew from my hometown airport (RDU) to a city over 700 miles away: Boston, Massachusetts. JetBlue had a crazy flash fare sale that had $31 fares during the week of Halloween, so I jumped on this opportunity. My options out of Raleigh were Fort Lauderdale, New York, and Boston. The last time I was in Boston was in August with a couple coworkers from my internship this summer, when we decided to fly to Boston after work just to grab some dinner and then leave. It’s such a gorgeous city, and I wish that I had more time to spend there. So, I picked Boston. By using only 2,600 of my TrueBlue points, I really only paid $11.20 for the roundtrip flight, which was simply just the domestic flight tax.
And so on a Wednesday morning, I arrived at the airport with just a purse. Having no luggage felt extremely freeing, knowing I would just return at night. The flight was just two hours long, and suddenly, I was in a new city.
Boston is a FANTASTIC place to visit if you are on a time crunch. Whether you’re wanting to spend a quick day trip there or simply just have a few hours in a layover, I would highly recommend stopping into the city. Unlike the proximity of airports in New York City for example, downtown Boston is only a 10-15 minute drive or 20-25 subway/bus ride from the airport, and the entire city is extremely walkable and easy to navigate via the public transportation system.
I took the T Silver Line bus from the airport and transferred to the Red Line at South Station Train Terminal, where I got off just two stops later at Park Street. I wanted to start my day in the Beacon Hill area, near the beautiful Boston Common park. I walked along the Freedom Trail, taking in all of the natural beauty around me. If you’ve never been to Boston before, it’s a quiet city that has beautiful historic architecture mixed with lots of green spaces. Fall was in full swing at this time of year, so I really got to appreciate the delightful weather, which was at a comfortable 60 degrees and sunny.
After walking around for a couple of miles, I wanted to stop by my favorite foodie spot, Tatte Bakery, which is where we ate for dinner last time I was in town. It’s extremely popular, and they have delicious sandwiches, baked goods, coffee, and more. I got the prosciutto and fig jam panini last time I was here—and two months later, I was STILL craving this sandwich. I ordered one with an iced latte, and spent about an hour eating and checking up on emails on my iPad.
Afterwards, I spent a couple of hours walking along Newbury Street, which is most known for its many shops and restaurants. I stopped into some of my favorite stores, such as Zara and Reformation. Nearby was a really cool mall called the Prudential Center, and I stopped by in Aritzia and Lululemon there. To my surprise, I didn’t end up buying anything at all, which was great for my wallet! I still had so much fun window shopping and walking around.
It was already almost 4PM by this point, and I wanted to keep moving along. I hopped on the Orange Line to the Samuel Adams Brewery, which took about 20 minutes. Once I was there, I had to wait about 30 minutes for the next tour, which gave me time to charge my phone and rest my achy feet for a bit. I was also surprised to learn that the brewery tour was totally free, which was completely unexpected! I had only done one brewery tour in the past when I went to the Heineken Experience tour in Amsterdam, and that was a hefty 21 euros per person.
The tour guide took us through the brewery and explained the history of this beer and the exact ingredients that go into it. I’ve always loved Sam Adams beer, and I didn’t realize that it was one of the sub-brands under the Boston Beer Company, which also owns Angry Orchard and Truly. The entire audience sat down in a room where we all tried three or four different styles of Sam Adams brew, my favorite being the Oktoberfest. The portions were extremely generous, and pitchers were being passed around all of the tables. It was a great experience, especially as it was a free activity!
I was set to meet a friend for dinner around 6PM, and because it was dark and started to drizzle by this point, I decided to take a shared Lyft back to Boston. I met my friend Kevin at MIT, as he is a graduate student there. He was also an intern with me at JetBlue this summer, so I was glad to catch up with him! He showed me around MIT, which was a totally interesting and quirky place—almost all of the classes and dorm rooms were in one massive building. It felt like a confusing maze of indoor hallways. But it was so fun to tour a different school, and I could tell that the general vibe of the school was hardworking and innovative. There were endless engineering and design spaces for students to collaborate and build—it was cool to see it all in action. My favorite part about seeing MIT was one of their study spaces, which had boxes on boxes of bananas for students to take at any time. I took a baby banana as a fun souvenir.
After walking around the school, we got dinner at a Korean restaurant called Kaju. We ordered a feast—dukbokki, kalbi, and two sundubujigaes. All of these dishes are some of my favorite classic Korean dishes.
Soon enough, it was time to return back to the airport for my 9:30PM flight. I took one easy bus back to the airport. I was wiped by this point and fell asleep on the entire plane ride home. I had a wonderful day trip to Boston and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Besides paying for transportation and lunch and dinner, I spent almost nothing at all on this getaway.
Next time there’s another flash sale, I will definitely be booking another adventure like this.