Hot Child in New York City

New York City

New York City (serenitbee via Flickr)

With my South American exploits safely behind me, it’s time to focus on the next destination in my location independent adventures: my former haunt, New York City.

Once upon a time, in a world that now seems far, far away, I called Manhattan home. I did not have a love affair for the ages with the city, in fact, some might describe my relationship with Gotham as … strained.

And so it has come to the surprise of, well, everyone who knows and loves me, that I’ve chosen — willfully — to return to the scene of my despair.

“Why, oh why are you returning?” The question keeps being asked.

The answer, quite simply: Because I want to.

Mysterious things indeed are our desires. Last fall, while happily ensconced in a highrise in the Florida Panhandle, I found myself missing New York City on a gutting, emotional level.

I would turn on the telly, see scenes from a movie, TV show, or commercial filmed in the city and start to grow misty-eyed. I know, right? ME growing misty-eyed!

I itched to return to this town that so tormented me, only this time it would be on my own terms. Where once I moved to Manhattan because it seemed the logical step after my RTW journey with Ayaz — himself a Manhattan native — I hadn’t really wanted to be there in my soul. My heart wasn’t in it. At all. I missed my hometown, Philadelphia.

Eventually, after months of inner struggle, of trying to understand my place in and relationship with this town, I left. I had packed up my apartment with Ayaz and we were taking off to be location independent.

But what I had only just begun to understand at the time was that I was no longer quite so unhappy in the Big City. I no longer cried at random on the subway, or felt anxiety creeping in when I pondered my new home.

In fact, I had made friends of my own; I even started to know my way around the subway without looking at a map. I had dinner suggestions for visiting friends, and I started to have a list of favorite spots for a drink or a stroll.

New York City

New York City (justininsd via Flickr)

Quietly, without fanfare, New York City had begun to creep into my heart. The transition was so slight, it passed mostly unnoticed.

Until the ache in my heart began last fall.

I suddenly wanted to explore the city again, only this time with an open heart, an open spirit. All the little things I once could only enjoy with half a heart — because I had one foot so firmly planted outside my new home, just waiting to dart away — I now want to experience with my full attention and mindfulness.

I get a do over, you guys. Here’s to hot times, summer in New York City 2014. Stay posted!

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