A Love Letter to the City That Never Sleeps
Truly, there is nothing like traveling. To enter a world so unlike your daily routine and have the chance to explore new places, new ways of living, is always such a rush to me. Simply walking into the airport with my huge suitcase makes my skin tingle from excitement. I'm going somewhere new, and I can't freaking wait. It's a thrill that never fades, no matter how many times I do it or how many times I'm visiting the same place. Just a chance to go somewhere different, be someone different, even for just a little while, is such a rush to me. Most kids romanticize true love or being financially successful, which I did at some points in my life, but not as much as I romanticized traveling.
My first love was New York. I was born there, but moved to the quiet safety of suburban North Carolina when I was 5, growing up in oceans of green land and small town living. I learned to love and appreciate it as I grew older, but that's another story for another post. When I was in middle school, I dreamt of gray European skies and castles, big cities with noise, and always having something to do. I was your typical angsty romantic, craving adventure and feeling restless in a town that was like a really small fish bowl for an oversized fish. When I was 15, my parents took my best friend and I to visit New York for the first time in years to see the ball drop on New Year's (needless to say, you can imagine that mess). From that small act, an eternal love story was born between New York City and I.
I became obsessed. My only goal in life was to return and live there. I craved the city the way an addict craves their drug. It's a feeling that never goes away no matter how much you push it away or try to keep it at bay. Like a quiet pulse in your neck, always at the back of your mind. And did I live there, you ask? Yes, I did. I both loved and hated it. When you're young, you imagine that things will happen in a different manner than how they actually do. You see the big picture, you see the end goal, but you don't see the details or realize that it might be harder than you imagined. I lived there for 3 months for an internship and working part time at Macy's in the center of the universe on 34th street, and it was hard. It's not so much the juggling of both responsibilities (although when they're each far from each other in opposite directions, both turning out to be an hour on the subway, it is a little difficult), but the lack of money that proved to be a problem. When you're young, you don't really think about money. Even when you do, you figure things will work themselves out somehow. I returned home to safe suburbia defeated and broke. The city both brought me heartbreak and joy.
Would I move back? I'm not sure. I lived in London my junior year of college and loved it. I've traveled to many places in Europe (Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, Ireland, Monte Carlo, but let me stop name dropping) and in the U.S. (Miami, California, Washington, Virginia). I've enjoyed all of it and think there's still a lot left for me to see in the world. New York was a starting point and I have the rest of my life to fill with adventures, and new sights. As I grow, I'm figuring myself and my wants out, shedding the skin of youth that I held onto for so long. Your dreams and goals change, sometimes readjusting to fit your reality, or soaring onto higher sights. I don't know what lays ahead for me (although coffee and a good Netflix movie is definitely in the picture), but that's not really the point of this post. This post, in a way, is a love letter to the city that stole my heart and started it all. They say you never forget your first love or your first heartbreak and there will always be a special place in my heart for the city that taught me so much. New York, my love, your charm is eternal.