May Oo Khine
Join me: A getaway to Concord!
What comes to your mind when you hear "Dartmouth"?
Ivy League. Nature.
I think, for many of us, we know as much about New Hampshire as we do about what we're going to end up majoring in once we come to the college on the hill. At least this especially is the case for me and many of my international friends.
We had been talking about a weekend getaway for quite some time now. While many students here often choose to take the Dartmouth Coach — our main transport through the Upper Valley — to New York or Boston for the holidays, we wanted to try something different. Something underrated. So, come the 3-day weekend before Martin Luther King Day, the eight of us rented two cars and drove off from Hanover in the morning. Our destination? Concord, the capital city of New Hampshire.
Around an hour later, we reached downtown Concord. There wasn't a bustling urban life but it wasn't like we had expected crowds or skyscrapers. We parked both our cars and strolled around, bundled up in our heavy-duty parkas and wool scarves. There were a handful of bistros, cafés, and department stores down the street. Stopping frequently to take a picture or window-shop, I sensed a New England feel to the town that was reminiscent of Hanover. There weren't many people on the streets (granted, it was very cold). No surprise that taking our group photo was a muddle of trying to get the right angles with all of us in the frame and trying not to get anyone's face "blown-up"!
Next, we headed to an escape room. With most of us having tried escape rooms before, we chose the intermediate level, matter-of-factly called "The Enigma." I have never tried an escape room before — my only experience was through a mobile game called "The Room."
Sharing our food with each other and chatting about the day's events, we wrapped up with both our stomachs and hearts full. We joked about making a bucket list of visiting every major town in New Hampshire during our four years here, although I felt some sort of truth behind our words. It WOULD be incredibly cool to explore New Hampshire more and in turn, understand Hanover and Dartmouth better. Hmm…we'll see.
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From the pandemic to the election, to online learning, every month seemed to be a new level of Jumanji. However, we have made it. And though 2020 has given me great lessons and experiences, I am looking forward to this new year and for what it holds.