“You get a strange feeling when you leave a place, like, you’ll not only miss the people you love, but you miss the person you are at this time and place because you’ll never be this way again.” –Azar Nafasi
I’m addicted to traveling.
It’s a characteristic I find sort of funny considering I grew up thinking a vacation was a day at Valleyfair or a week at my cousin’s house in the riveting suburb of Lino Lakes, just north of St. Paul. In my defense, my cousin had a pool in her backyard.
Nonetheless, it wasn’t until college that I was truly exposed to traveling, and since then I’ve been hooked. I crave seeing new places, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and eating new foods. It’s a big part of who I am.
Before my final semester of college, I moved out to NYC to complete an internship, which had been a dream of mine upon entering college… Actually, I told the people at career services during my first semester of freshman year that I was ready for an NYC internship; I just needed help putting together a resume. Clearly, I had a real grasp for what it took to land a gig in one of the most competitive cities for internships in the world.
Luckily, the fine folks at career services didn’t laugh in my face. Instead, they just advised me to start a little smaller.
It’s advice I’m happy I listened to because even when I did score my full-time international public relations internship in New York City, I was barely ready. Although, I’d never admit that as a know-it-all 22-year-old.
While living and working in NYC was a 180 from my college life in Iowa, I quickly fell in love with it – mostly the energy and opportunity the city presents to anyone who wants to take it. It’s unlike any other place I’ve ever been, to date.
Although I daydreamed about moving back out to the East Coast after college, other circumstances brought me to Minneapolis, and I grew to love my home state of Minnesota again.
This little trip down memory lane felt warranted because I recently made my return to the East Coast for the first time since the internship ended four summers ago.
My East Coast trip, and I purposely say “trip”, not “vacation”, because there’s a distinct difference between the two, was 8 days/7 nights, and I spent time in NYC, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
It was an incredible week packed to the max with friends, family, food, a few touristy moments and a whole lot of walking in horrible shoes (but let’s not talk about my rookie mistake packing footwear).
As I made my way around NYC to visit spots I use to frequent, it felt natural to compare my life as it is today to how it was the last time I had been in that exact spot.
Like Azar Nafasi so beautifully put it, “…you miss the person you are at this time and place because you’ll never be this way again.”
To be honest, part of me missed the 22-year old who didn’t give a damn about insurance premiums, aging skin or checking email like a crazy maniac. The person who could still coax her dad into paying for a major car fix and could sleep in past 7:30 AM on a Saturday.
But more of me was excited about the 26-year old I’ve become. I like being on a course I would’ve put myself on four years ago. I like getting pumped about new home appliances. And most importantly, I take pride in understanding there’s not a city or job or awesome apartment in the entire world that can take the place of a loving relationship. There just isn’t.
So while it would be cool to not have bills or real responsibilities, I’d never trade places with my 22-year-old self.
I’d rather just be grateful to have had the experience of living in NYC, Paris, Iowa and all the others cities I’ve lived in, and move on knowing I won’t be the same person when/if I return but that doesn’t mean that’s a bad thing.
With that said, I’m bursting at the seams to share with you a few highlights from my time in NYC, Boston and Rhode Island. 😉
NEW YORK CITY:
BLOCK ISLAND, RHODE ISLAND:
Until we meet again, East Coast. 🙂