I passed by my old apartment downtown yesterday, a block away from the old WTC site. For my last year there, there wasn’t a day when I didn’t have a face off with tourists crowding the sidewalk or suits and ties making the mad dash to work. So much so that I almost forgot that 2,819 people had perished a three minute walk away from where I lived ten years earlier.
In lieu of the tragic events of Tuesday’s earthquake and soon to be catastrophic effects of Hurricane Irene, I’ve decided to write a more positive post in the hopes that all New Yorkers can rise above the possible cancellation of Dave Matthews Band on Governors Island this weekend.
Many people have asked me what the food was like while I was traveling through Kenya and Tanzania. I’ll be honest, food in East Africa is not always the stuff culinary dreams are made of. It didn’t stop me from gaining weight though. Here are my picks of the bunch.
I’ve been home for nearly 4 weeks and the same question has come up again and again: am I happy to be home?
Despite the fact that I discovered that I’m filthy rich in every single currency except for the one I need, I’m surprisingly happy with my current coordinates. So I was surprised when a friend recently asked if I needed help getting up on my feet again. I was never down in the first place. I quit my job eight months ago to travel and volunteer; I’ve been without a steady paycheck since. But the fact is, I’ve never looked back. Nor have I felt so incredibly up.
Coming from the US, and especially from New York, we are so programmed to equate happiness with a steady paycheck that sometimes we forget to ask if our underwhelmed and over-caffeinated souls, are in fact, happy.
There’s a disposition to discount the importance of travel and the afterglow of a good trip where you feel refreshed, alive and motivated to work again.
So am I happy? Yes. I feel this incredible surge of energy to move on to the next chapter, to find the next cool thing to do, and to make the old and familiar- fresh again.
I don’t live in a fantasyland where I think I can live off my good looks (ha) and insurance will pay for itself (though it should). I don’t have any problem working my butt off to find my next job either. But at the moment, I am comfortable reveling in the slight discomfort of life without a steady check. Because truly, I think it’s the discomforts in life that challenge us to think outside the box the most.