I can’t run away on an adventure every weekend, no matter how much I would like to. Instead I’ve developed a weekend routine that satisfies the itch in my brain to run away, temporarily at least, because it involves doing some of my favorite things to do while traveling: sitting in coffee shops and shopping, just in my own city.
I really love sitting in coffee shops in other cities (local ones, not Starbucks) to soak up the vibe, read, and plan the rest of my day. I once spend eight hours in a coffee shop sipping tea and reading Nick Hornby while visiting a friend in Portland while he was at work. Every weekend I go to my favorite local coffee shop on my little community’s main street to write, do some mindless internetting, and research, usually a dream trip I may never take. What started as a means of escape from my old roommate has become my therapy. For the price of a cup of coffee I buy myself a few hours of hiding in plain sight while I immerse myself in my own little world, where I don’t stress about work or paying bills. I’ve been doing this for going on two years now and this is exactly how I have planned my last few trips. I’ve spent as many as 8 hours over the course of a weekend reading about Mississippi blues landmarks and Muscle Shoals while talking about Muppets, concerts, and coffee with the other regulars.
Sometimes after a few hours I make the drive over to Decatur, which I hated when I moved to Atlanta eight years ago, but I’m slowly growing to love. It’s just far enough away that the drive on 285 makes it feel like I have gone somewhere. The solitude of my car can also be a treat since I take the train to work during the week.
Decatur is home to my favorite thrift store, which shall remain nameless. It’s enormous and housed in an old warehouse. I’ve been known to burn three hours in there. I never felt like I had knack for thrifting, looking at fashinistas online and in magazine with envy as the recount finding one glorious item after another at the thrift store. Thrifting isn’t easy when you’re plus size because when big girls find something they like they wear it out. I speak from experience.
Then I found this store. I’ve scored a 1960’s wool coat with a fur collar and a pristine and perfectly folded handkerchief in the pocket, surely pulled straight out of someone’s grandma’s closet. It cost me $20 and I feel so incredibly fabulous in it. There’s also a Vintage beaded Wrangler shirt that’s reminiscent of a Nudie suit, the cropped jean jacket I wear everywhere, and the gloriously 90s floral dress that feels like something Elaine Bennis would wear. Of course other visits I walk away with nothing. It’s hit or miss. But for about $20 I have a day of adventure and I can go back to work on Monday and not feel like a hermit.