Before I ever dreamed of moving to Charleston, this city was my escape. During my college years, I would make the drive south to visit my brother at the College of Charleston. The streets surrounding the campus were always ripe with fresh faces, fresh party invitations, fresh conversations, freshly tapped beer, the smoky kiss of a stranger, the hope of a fresh start. At least for a weekend.
The curve of the Battery sidewalk always beckoned, unwinding as if in wait for my running shoes to hit and clip the concrete.
The splash of the fountain in Marion Square was like music, and sprawling in the grass in the sun with other students was like the best version of reality – a reminder that your greatest goal on a Saturday can be as simple as, “relax.”
Everything I craved was in walking distance, from the eggs at Hominy Grill, to the boisterous band at Midtown Bar, to the expanse of sky above The Rooftop at The Vendue Inn.
Every place I went was an escape. Charleston makes escaping easy for outsiders – it’s is like the happy-go-lucky, invites-everyone-to-the-party personality of college towns.
And it wasn’t until I moved to Charleston for a summer internship that I realized I didn’t have to treat this place as a getaway route anymore. I didn’t have to be a visitor. I could call this place home, my own.
Here, I realized there was nothing to escape. I realized there’s no reason to run. Unless you’re charging straight for the sea and the waves, their crash and their foam, their tug at your toes and their fizzle at your ankles.
Here, you are home.