Backyard Travel: Pocono Mountains

As a drifter, I often come across [travelers] who turn their noses up at traveling domestically. This is quite troubling to me. I can understand wanting to explore other cultures, but to deny oneself the splendor of exploring and being fully cognizant of one’s own home seems to me a bit vacuous: little do we know what magic lies just over the horizon. I often say, “Travel isn’t necessarily about going overseas. Sometimes it’s just as enriching to see what’s in one’s own backyard.” 

I recently had the pleasure of getting out of Philly and traveling a couple hours northeast to visit a good friend in the Poconos (in Stroudsburg, PA). It was quite the experience. The beauty of the season was enveloping: the full-bodied earthy scents, the fiery colors of transitory folliage, the crispness of the air. Everywhere we turned, we were blessed with the sensory titillation of the autumnal equinox. 

We took full advantage of the season, spending lots of time outdoors, and going to a market to buy local seasonal ingredients, like kale and pumpkin, using them to cook a yummy meal.

The most memorable thing we did, though, was hike Bushkill Falls. Being surrounded by nature on such a large scale was a beautiful thing. It was humbling yet simultaneously invigorating. Our hike lasted for two hours, and during that time we happened upon a number of stunningly beautiful waterfalls, stopped to rest on massive rocks carved by Mother Nature’s hand, and listened to hear what our environment had to say. It was perfect, as things found in nature tend to be. Just as beautiful as somewhere like Luxembourg or Switzerland, but at not even a fraction of the cost, as it was close in proximity to my own backyard. -VJ