“How could you want to be anywhere but HERE?” asked my friend Jo, in from Singapore last week. “You live in New York City! Do you know how lucky you are???”
Yes, I do. Truly. Which is why, for past two months since I’ve been home, I’ve felt a bit ashamed to also feel…complacent. To feel, despite how much I love this city — how much it’s in my bones — that I sorta wish I were anywhere but here. I can’t get excited about the lineup at Celebrate Brooklyn!. I totally forgot about Summer Streets. And I’m only just figuring out what a Cronut is despite everyone having now moved on to the Ramen Noodle Burger.
I know, I know. Get with it! I got some newness in the form of five months abroad. What more could I want? (Er, I don’t know. Just more? Sheepishly crawls under table.)
After all my travels post-swap — Paris, Slovenia, Stockholm, Croatia, Israel — I had a severe case of wanderlust. And believe me — I still do. I’m already contemplating where to go next. (Columbia, perhaps?)
But now that I’ve settled back into a place for longer than a month, I can’t help but shake that I’m still meant to “just be” elsewhere. And these past few days in particular, it felt like my pal London was ringing my bell.
Maybe it was the visit from Jo, who I met while working at Fabulous. She’s now the the Big Cheese editor-in-chief at Cosmo Singapore and was in town on business. I took her to some new restaurant that’s all abuzz (Charlie Bird, for those wondering; I’d give it a B) and then on a walking tour of the West Village. Strolling through it with her, pointing out its quirky alleyways, uneven cobblestone streets and secret garden vestibules, reminded me of how the whole of London is pretty much like that. Unexpected turns here, one-way-streets-that-become-dead-ends there. It was all a maze I was only just beginning to make my way through.
Maybe it was the fact that my favorite band in the world, Kings of Leon, played a small show in Shephard’s Bush Arena on Friday, which I was able watch live on my computer, thanks to amexUNSTAGED. There’s no doubt in my mind I would’ve been there if I were still in town.
Maybe it was my Sunday Skype call with Hannah, another friend from Fabulous. We talked work and guys and her upcoming visit to New York — her first! — in just three weeks. Can. Not. Wait. Specifically for things to happen like us running into dudes dressed as an American SuperHero and Bugs Bunny when we were each in “fancy headdress” that appropriately matched these oddball characters. OK, so the likelihood of that happening in New York is slim (unless I take her to Times Square, which I would never do), but still, silliness is guaranteed.
Maybe it was getting a WhatsApp message from my friend Pete who just saw the new Punchdrunk production Drowned Man in London. I loved Sleep No More, their immersive experience at NYC’s faux McKittrick Hotel, so much I saw it three times and could go back again! I so want to get lost in the many floors and highly-designed rooms of this new performance.
Maybe it was discussing model-of-the-moment Br-It Girl Cara Delavigne in the office of my new part-time job at The Daily Front Row, a glossy publication known among NYC fashion circles as the thing to read during Fashion Week. I was all like, “Oh yeah. Cara is the hotness. Has been for MONTHS. Get with it.” (Didn’t say that last part, but was thinking it!)
Maybe it was getting an email from an editor at the travel publication I’d like to write for, AFAR, asking me to help compile their gigantic online destination guide for London. Only caveat? I need to be in Blighty to do it. Womp, womp.
So London’s been calling. A lot. The question is, do I answer it?
The way I’m feeling lately, I can almost guarantee Paris or Buenos Aires or [Insert Alternative Metropolitan City Here] might get in touch too. And who knows? Maybe I’ll finally get back in touch with NYC and hang up on all the others.
Keeping the lines open for now.