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 and somewhere along the way — the idea that NYC could be home again, because this time, I wouldn’t be alone.
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 🙂
Check out some of my favorite things to do in NYC. Some, I’ll revisit now that I am back. But I’ll also find new favorites too!