Let's face it, it's hard to escape New Jersey. And even when we try to leave, somehow New Jersey finds a way to remain ever-present. The Garden State attaches itself to us like a leach and doesn't let go.

If you're moving out of state, odds are wherever you're moving someone will have a tie bringing it back to the Garden State. Whether that person grew up here or knew of someone, it's almost a guarantee something will pop up that's tied to the Garden State.

When it comes to moving, it makes sense. Many people try to leave the state for many reasons, the cost of living being one of the most common.

And then there are those of us who dream of leaving New Jersey, but for one reason or another can't. So we do the next best thing and vacation out of state. Now yes, New Jersey has many beautiful and unique places to go. But sometimes, even that's not enough and you just have to go beyond our borders for a while.

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We do that once a year for our annual family vacation to Massachusetts. It's nothing against our home state, it's just a tradition we do every season as summer comes to a close.

This particular year I couldn't believe how many Jersey ties we came across. One of the most notable involved this couple who were tied to the owners of our beach cottage.

After getting to know them, we found out that they knew Jersey quite well. One of them went to Rutgers University and was very familiar with many of our downtowns. One, in particular, was Red Bank in Monmouth County, which they visited frequently while attending college.

It's interesting since Rutgers isn't anywhere near Red Bank. But yet, that was one of their favorite places to go. Very cool getting to know them since they were also tied to the owners of our cottage. This couple, by the way, lived in Boston.

But they weren't the only Jersey tie we came across. One of our neighbors that was staying in the cottage next to us also had Jersey ties.

She told us that thanks to family, she would often visit Brick in Ocean County and Fair Haven in Monmouth County. This one blew us away since my childhood hometown was Brick and my wife was Fair Haven. What are the odds of that happening? If I remember correctly, I believe she said she lived in upstate New York.

But we're not done yet. We also met a couple that was also vacationing from New Hampshire that, wouldn't you guess, also had a run-in through New Jersey. This time, it was a tie to two separate areas of New Jersey.

NUKEMAP by Alex Wellerstein
NUKEMAP by Alex Wellerstein

One visit was tied to the military which led them to Atlantic City. And the other visited Seaside Heights, or as they described it, the area near Snooki (yes, Snooki came up when it comes to describing New Jersey. Thank you, Jersey Shore, for that).

So far that's three separate ties to New Jersey while on our Massachusetts vacation. Believe it or not, however, we have one more tie.

One of the guests had their mom staying with them, but visited New Jersey on a totally separate occasion. She said she always thought the entire state was urban, but couldn't believe how beautiful New Jersey really was. From the downtowns to the beaches, she was blown away by how nice the state really is. Goes to show what people think we are isn't anywhere close to reality.

All these people were staying the same week as us in the exact same beach community. We ended up making great friends with everyone and now exchanged numbers so we'll definitely be staying in touch.

It just goes to show that no matter how much you try to escape, New Jersey has a way of attaching itself to you like a leach. No matter how much you try to get away, The Garden State finds a way to still make its presence known.

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