Just four hours from the bustling, busy streets of New York City disguised by grassy mountainside lies the most magical place on earth. The stone gates act as a portal to another land. One with a brilliant blue lake that sparkles, reflecting lofty emerald pines. Mountains touch the sky, and beauty surrounds all who enter. Feelings of warmth and comfort fill every inch of my body. Towering pines secure my youth, my most cherished memories, and my deepest feelings.
I have spent the last seven summers on a little peninsula nestled in the Adirondack Mountains. When I departed for the first time in June of 2013, it hadn’t crossed my mind that a place so different from my “normal” could feel so much like home. For seven and a half weeks, I left home, my friends, my parents, and virtually everything I had ever known. In the first few days, I longed for what I had left behind.