On Coming Home to NYC - Kirsten Alana

on Coming Home to NYC

NYC has been my home at various times since I left the Midwest after my divorce to begin my travel career four years ago. Only, it never really felt like HOME in that way I really craved and needed. So I left.

Last September, I packed up the meager belongings I had in the city, threw them in a storage unit barely larger than my suitcase and boarded a plane to Europe almost completely unsure what the future would hold but knowing that the uncertainty on the road was more palatable for me, than the uncertainty of trying to live in New York and never accomplishing more than barely scraping by.

I visited England, Scotland, Italy, Indonesia, France, Australia, Turkey, Germany, Belize, Spain and The Republic of San Marino. And maybe one or two other countries. I had so much fun it was too much at times. The thrill of the new took a long time to wear off. Then, I spent Christmas volunteering with the homeless in London and I realized I had more in common with them than I had with my fellow volunteers. When I turned 32 alone in Perth, as far away from any friend or family member as I could possibly get, I realized something had to give. Being a nomad wasn’t working for me. Trying to have a home in NYC hadn’t worked because I always felt too lonely. But what could I do….

Well, Oz was followed by an unexpected trip to NYC to solve a bank problem and the next thing I knew, I’d met this guy. Which was followed by a lot of Skype and his visiting me in Paris, London and Bologna. Somewhere along the way, an idea materialized that maybe NYC could be home again. Because this time, I wouldn’t be alone.

Coming Home to NYC - Kirsten Alana

Now I’m back in NYC and even though it’s only been a week, this time, it really does feel like home. Sure, I miss Europe and find myself looking for reminders of it in places like The Stone Street Historic District. Yes, I’m on a seemingly fruitless quest to find coffee as good as I had in Melbourne. But also, I have someone to wander Central Park with and someone who appreciates SoHo as much as I do. I still need my times of independence and I will still get them. Yet I understand better than I ever have before how travel can’t fill every hole for me and how HOME is a thing and a place I needed more than I was willing to admit…

And now that I’m not on the road every day, I’ll FINALLY be able to blog about all the places I experienced when I was being carried on the wind 🙂

  • June 10, 2013

    Just think of all the hidden treasures most people miss when the visit NYC. The amazing churches with old-world architecture, the cobblestone streets in old-world New York, the neighborhood joints and hidden supper clubs, the street art, the music. Koreatown, Brighton Beach, and the many other cultural enclaves, bike riding on Randall’s Island, and the strangeness of Roosevelt Island.

    There’s so much to see and photograph here. And I know we can count on you to show us a great new perspective of this great city.

    • June 10, 2013

      You’ve given me such great ideas I didn’t even have in mind yet!! Thank you 🙂 And I do definitely hope to bring NYC tips and adventures to this blog as well as the stories about my past travels. And in the fall, I’ll once again add new travel adventures…

  • June 11, 2013

    Aww, it’s great to hear you’ve found your ‘home’! I definitely think that home is more about the people you are with rather than the place you are.
    I’ve been desperate to visit NYC for such a long time so I’m looking forward to seeing your updates!

    • June 11, 2013

      Thanks lady!! I’ll definitely be blogging about NYC as well as my past travels and always shouting good NYC tips on my Instagram stream. So stay tuned 😉 And if you ever come to NYC, you know someone who has a couch you can crash on!

      It’s true, home is about the people. Which is one of the reasons I loved being in London so often before.

  • June 11, 2013
    A Montrealer Abroad

    I’m so happy you’re happy ♥

    • June 12, 2013

      Awh!!!!! Thank you 🙂 🙂 xx Now to get the health problems under control…

  • June 17, 2013

    That’s so good to hear Kirsten, so happy that you’ve found a good guy and are able to have the feeling of home that you were needing and wanting. Enjoy it! Sounds like he’ll be happy to explore the world with you.

    • July 14, 2013

      Thank you, Noelle!! Yes, he is happy to explore the world with me whenever possible and it is indeed very nice to have the kind of home I was looking for.

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