Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New beginnings

In January and August of last year I went to New York and Southern California respectively. Along with the main purpose of those trips, the underlying one was actually the most prominent. The goal was to feel them out; see if I would be OK with living in either place after life in Europe.

Although I had been to both locations before, I had never gone with the intention to move there. My focus was different. And as I wandered the dark, residential New York City streets alone one night, I felt a bit uneasy. Coupled with the cost of living, New York was wiped off the list.

That left California. I assumed it would be the logical place for me to go. Sun, warm weather, beach living... it really couldn't get much better. But then I'm flying over Los Angeles, looking out the window at the brown landscape beyond the hazy pollution and think, "Ew. Why did I want to live here?"

Driving in LA traffic after riding a bike for 5 years didn't help either.

After returning home I got to thinking. Maybe I was willingly finding faults with both places. Maybe I was doing so because I just wasn't ready to return to the US. And then it hit me. There was no law saying I had to return. In England 18 year olds take a gap year between their High School and University studies to travel the world. Couldn't I take a gap year between jobs as a 32 year old? What better transition between Europe and the US than the rest of the world?

So here I am. Newly arrived at a beautiful hotel room in Mbabane, Swaziland. The weather is warm and the landscape inviting: welcoming me into great start to my year-long, around-the-world, adventures.

(Although I'm now considering the idea of a gap decade...).


Nancy@OwensOlivia said...

I'm excited for you and your new journey. If there is anything I could request it would be to widen your blog and upload larger photos!!! No more rinky dinks girl! We'll be in Scotland 2014 but I am not sure if you'll even be in Europe by then. :)

ReL said...

This is SUPER exciting! I can't believe you've been in Europe so long already! I can't blame you for finding fault in both NY and LA...they're not exactly as awesome as anywhere in Europe.

Patti said...

Following you around the world is going to be so much fun. I vote for a gap decade. I don't know how you're going to decide on a place to stop.