I’ve been back in New York for about three days now after fulfilling my dream of going to California (hence why I haven’t posted anything on here in a little while).
One week spent on the other side of the country is not long enough. I knew it would be different over there, but I didn’t comprehend just how different it could be until I went and found out for myself.
In California, random people will smile and say “hello” to you and treat you kindly. Meals are made with natural/organic, local ingredients, and there’s free detox water composed of lemon, cucumber, and mint leaves in most shops. Veggie burgers are available for substitution by default in every restaurant. Mountains encompass beaches and overlook freeways. Sunshine and warm weather is an everyday norm. There are hiking trails with scenic views and tons of active people occupying the paths.
Biggest problem? The traffic. I think that actually may be California’s only problem aside from the looming threat of an earthquake or tsunami at any given moment.
If you smile at a stranger in New York, there’s a 50/50 chance of reciprocation. There’s a 100% chance of struggling to find a healthy restaurant that isn’t one of the three spots you regularly frequent. Annual weather alternates between cool, freezing cold, warm, and boiling hot. Gyms are our main location of activity because nature trails are in short supply.
Okay, so New York truly doesn’t suck as much as I’m making it out to. Sure, it has its negatives, but on the flip side, it definitely has its perks.
Diners are open 24/7 or until 3am. Bars serve alcohol past 10pm and are open later than 2am. We have AMAZING pizza and bagels. We also have changing seasons (if you’re into that kinda thing). If you live on Long Island like I do, there’s the valuable and oftentimes-taken-for-granted luxury of having everything within the span of a 40 minute drive, including but not limited to water, the city, farm life, and suburbia. There aren’t many people living in the US who can say they have that.
Overall, the sights, the people, the food, the culture, the art — the only word I could think of to describe California is inspiring. Everything is so full of life and emotion and passion and I CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT IT.
Although I love New York because it’s my home, I want to go back out and continue exploring. This world — more specifically, on an even smaller scale, this country — is too full of different places and experiences to stay stuck in one place forever.
Spend the money and take that trip you’ve always wanted to. Whether you’ve been dreaming of visiting a neighboring state, the other side of the country, or an entirely new one, do it. It may rip you out of your comfort zone or put you on a tight budget for a little while, but it’ll be worth it. I promise.
Until I attempt to cure my wanderlust with another trip sometime soon, I’ll be enjoying my Long Island sunsets and east coast living as much as possible, but chances are I’ll be west coast, California dreaming while doing so.