As much as I love living in New York, there are just some days where the city likes to kick you when you’re down. Impossibly overcrowded and delayed subway cars, overpriced everything, and the lack of space just serves to exacerbate any other downsides during my day. So I’ll admit I’ve been having one of those up and down sort of weeks, and the first thing I want to do when that happens is ESCAPE. My wanderlust kicks into full gear and I have the urge to book a flight to somewhere far, far away, especially during summer. I guess I’m a total believer in the grass is greener theory.
In the absence of a plane ticket and an all expenses paid vacation, I watched Eat, Pray, Love last night and dreamt of Paris and Rome. When the movie came out, I had just graduated from college and was planning a three week European vacation with a close girlfriend. The feeling of being on a precipice of a new life resonated with me and I found myself getting emotional every time a preview of the film aired. Silly, I know, but even yesterday when I watched it again, the first scene in Rome with Julia looking over a piazza at sunset brought me to tears again as I remembered myself wandering the streets of Rome by myself for four days, liberated but also a tad vulnerable. I think that’s why I’m so drawn to new places and discovering new cultures; even if it makes me feel a bit vulnerable, it always teaches me more about myself and invigorates my passion for life.
While going about my usual morning errands here in New York, I think about the beautiful mundane notions that make up a Parisian morning. I remember walks to the boulangerie to buy a warm baguette that I’d break apart and eat on my way. I remember the precious strawberry tart that my friend picked up that brought me to tears on my first morning in the City of Light. And I think of the fact that while I’m here daydreaming about Paris or London or Tuscany, there are people in those wonderful places who daydream about the sweet trivialities that make up a New Yorker’s morning.
So today, I’m browsing my Europe pictures and fondly remembering my experiences as a pick-me-up because on that trip, I was aware of the fact that everything was wonderful. I enjoyed the present; I lived and basked in it and I didn’t worry about the other things in my life and for once, my experience wasn’t marred by expectations or the thought that it would soon come to an end. Looking at these pictures is a reminder for me to continue to do that, to not get bogged down by a rough week or constantly pin my hopes on the future. For today, I’m going to dream of Paris and then open my eyes to New York again, renewed.