I’ve been a New Yorker for the last three and half years. At least, as much as one who travels as much as I do can be called a local anywhere.
I loved NYC — the hustle and bustle, the crowds, the variety of food, the cocktail bars, the culture, the theater, the people! I loved everything about it and, as the center of the travel media world, it was a good place to be professionally.
Yet, as my lease expired and my roommates moved to Boston, I knew I didn’t want to get my own place and stay longer. I needed to get out of New York. I needed a change. Running around the world makes it hard to create positive routines and habits in your life. They do not go to together.
Over the last year or so, I’ve really focused on being a better me: better sleep, eating healthier, exercising more, and a bunch of other things I won’t mention here. I realized living in NYC was making it hard for me to do that. Environment plays a big role in how we develop and change, and my environment in NYC just wasn’t good — it was too easy to always go out, attend events, drink, spend money.
And as someone who likes to take the easy way out, I need an environment that gives me that structure and forces me to change.
So when it came to decide to leave or stay, I knew I had to leave — and that Austin was the best choice. I own a hostel here, I have friends and business relations here, and I wanted a place that had more outdoor activities and a more relaxed, less workaholic culture.
Austin has all that.
I don’t believe you can run away from your problems — they follow you anywhere. But when you are looking to change the habits in your life, the environment you put yourself in is very important. You need a place where you can create a lasting foundation.
And people to help you do that. I love all my friends dearly, but my Austin friends are more the “eat healthy, go to bed early, workout” type, and I need that right now. It’s like when you are thinking about traveling — if you surround yourself with naysayers, you’re going to internalize what they say. A supportive and encouraging community is what you need.
And I need someone who is going to shut Netflix off and take me to the gym.
It’s easy to keep on the course you’re going, because it’s the path of least resistance. I could have easily stayed in NYC and tried to do everything I want to do there. I might have succeeded.
But I most likely wouldn’t. I know myself and my friends too well — our idea of a good time is not the gym; it’s the steakhouse and a bar.
I’m not done with New York City. I already miss it. My current plan is to be in Austin for a year and then move back to NYC.
Or maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll stay here — or end up in Paris.
The future is uncertain.
But I do know that I’m looking forward to this new city and new adventure. I have an entire new part of the country to explore and learn about.
And to me, that’s what being a nomad is all about!
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