New York City – Ending a First Love

As 11 weeks of couch surfing come to a close, and I navigate the logistics and emotions of a cross country move. I can’t help but reflect on my time in this City that became home.

I was 22 the first time I came to New York, and I was here to visit a friend who I’d met while living in Italy. It was a whirlwind 4 days, filled with bagels, cupcakes, galleries, cocktails, sightseeing and of course a little bit of shopping. This was my first bite of the big apple and I was hooked.

On the plane home I was chatting with my friend about an internship program (Mountbatten Institute), that I’d heard about but wanted to find out more. Could I really spend a year working in America, in New York City of all places? Back on the Wirral, I pushed the idea to one side. Don’t be ridiculous I thought to myself, there has to be a catch. And so that was that. Well at least for a couple of weeks. Why the hell not, I thought! I was going to do this. And that’s how the love affair began.

One whole year, living and working in New York. I was thrilled that this had become a reality. That year was life changing, in so many ways. I made some amazing friends, explored the US and Caribbean and gained valuable exposure in the field I’ve continued to work in, pretty much since then. I didn’t expect to move back but I did, and have been lucky enough to call New York City home for a further 5 years.

Those 5 years were eventful. I was pushed in ways I never thought possible. In ways, I naively thought would never affect me. Buckle up kid, this was going to get bumpy. The result of that bumpy ride has been nothing but incredible.

When I left to travel, I wasn’t sure where I’d end up. But returning to New York while I figured it out made sense. So with that in mind, I never did say a proper goodbye. And now I have 4 days to say farewell. In true NYC fashion, it’s safe to say those days will be filled with brunches, wine and chats with all those who helped me call NYC home.

I thought it would be easy picking up and moving. Logistically, it’s a cake walk – with just 2 boxes and one suitcase to my name. Emotionally, it’s a little tougher. You can’t fabricate friendships, and while I’m excited for this fresh start, the reality that I’m taking myself 3,000 miles away is a little daunting.

The destination for the next chapter…San Francisco, California.

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