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Reconnecting: New Years in Charleston, Part One

by Tara

Every December 31st for the past seven or so, my college friends have rung in the New Year together. During the first of these reunions, Tyler and I were riding Habib in Tunisia; during the second, we were pedaling through Vietnam. The first and only gathering were able to attend was in Tennessee after we returned from our trip. After that, we moved across the country and got busy building things. Somehow, three years whizzed by, with Tyler and I only able to see my friends at their various weddings.

Ali & Julia Teary Eliza During Ian's Wedding Vows Guilford Group Wedding Shot Lizza & Ian Lucy On Teeter Totter Evelyn Nick & Jess

This year, feeling the shocking pull of passing time and recognizing how horrifyingly easy it would be to let another three years slip by without attending a reunion, I made it a priority. And I'm so, so glad I did.

After spending one night in Manhattan reconnecting with Ian, and old pal of Tyler's, we headed to Brooklyn where we picked up my friend Lucy and her boyfriend Seth, and headed south to this year's reunion destination, Charleston, SC. The road trip was wonderful. Though we hadn't seen one another in three years, it was like we'd only been apart for a day—we talked for pretty much 13 hours straight (when we weren't listening to interesting podcasts or stopping for junky snacks). We arrived, exhausted but happy, at our rental house on Isle of Palms, South Carolina at 1AM.

It only occurred to me, as we got out of the car and groggily hauled our suitcase and camera bag inside, that we were somewhere distinctly different. There was a damp warmth all about me, and the smell of salt in the air. I'd never been to Charleston, and I was suddenly filled with an exuberance not only for seeing my friends, but also for travel in a new place. I couldn't wait to get up in the morning to see what surroundings awaited us.