There’s nothing like planning your travels for the upcoming Thanksgiving break to get a girl thinking about just how difficult it can be to get home a mere 2,023 miles away. It also gets you thinking about how different home is from the quaint city of Waterville, Maine.
Secret time: when I came to visit the College for the first time, we had to get dinner in Waterville the night before my tour, and between the stress of seeing the College, my long travel day and the fact that not a single restaurant seemed to be open past 7 p.m. freaked me out. I know I sound like such a drama queen confessing that, and to be honest, I can be one, but when you go from a city of 2.3 million to one of 16 thousand, there’s bound to be pretty big differences and unfamiliarity.
Speaking of the long travel day, if you’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing the epic highs and lows of getting from Houston to Waterville, you are seriously missing out. Not only are there no direct flights going out of the Hobby Airport to the Portland Jetport, but unless you have perfectly timed your travel itinerary or have your own car, you might as well just cancel the trip. But what’s worse than trying to get to Waterville is trying to get out.
I know most of you reading this are probably JOBs and have yet to stress about how you are going to get from campus in the middle of nowhere to an airport within a five-hour radius. If you haven’t had the absolute pleasure of that yet, let me fill you in.
At first glance, you may look at the College website’s transportation page and think to yourself ‘wow, Colby has so many options to get you where you need to go!’ Wrong. Upon further evaluation, unless planned out perfectly and you have a ticket for a flight out of the Portland Jetport, you might as well just stay put and tell your loved ones back home that you’ll see them next year. I mean seriously, it’s egregiously difficult to plan out travel.
Coming from a city where Uber is always the answer, that not being an option is making what should be an exciting homecoming more akin to running through a Wipeout! course. Every time you think there’s a new option to get somewhere, you get sucker punched off the wall.
On the flip side of the small-city woes, I wouldn’t want to experience my first real fall anywhere else. There’s something magical about seeing the trees all brilliantly warm walking from the front doors of Miller. No billboards, high rises, or highway traffic to get in the way. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Whataburger sign up here though.
Another thing H-Town doesn’t have is a song, nay, an entire album by Noah Kahan about it! I may not be mean because I grew up in New England like Kahan, but by golly do I sing along as if I’ve never stepped foot on a leaf that wasn’t red.
I think I will always be a big-city gal, but coming here, no matter how difficult it is to do so or how much I miss the hustle and bustle of millions, has given me something special. It isn’t easy being so far away from everything that I know and love, but sometimes all I need to do is look outside, feel the not-humid air, and thank my lucky stars I can’t hear a highway.
~ Kathryn Stone `26