“I guess that’s what makes life special. It’s unexpected. Scary as hell. But in the end, totally worth it.” – Rachel Van Dyken
When I decided to walk the Camino de Santiago, I wrote down all of the reasons I was doing it in a blog post. I did that to explain to everyone but mostly to myself, why I was doing the camino. I wanted to have why I wanted to do it down in writing somewhere, so that if and when I was doubting myself mid-camino I could look back and remember why it was a good idea. Well, today, for myself, I am writing down all of the reasons I am embarking on my next big adventure. I’ve decided to move to New York City and I know it’s a bonkers idea, I know I’m mad but I know it’s what I want.
I’ve moved away before, but I knew it was a good idea to move away. This time I don’t. It doesn’t make sense to move to New York. New York smells, it’s dirty, it’s crowded and it’s expensive but yet I want to go there. I left a stable job working in a university in Spain, with good pay, a wonderful quality of life, cheap cost of living and a beautiful apartment in a beautiful city that was quiet but buzzing and just the perfect amount of crowded for New York. Why? For so many reasons… And I want to put them all down in writing here because I know for a fact that tomorrow evening I’m going to be asking myself these questions over and over again – “WHY DID YOU SEND YOURSELF TO NEW YORK?”, “Why did you leave your stable job in Spain for being unemployed and job seeking in New York?”, “Why did you save everything you earned for a year straight to just burn it up on rent in Manhattan?”
Well, without being too cliché, because it’s New York! And for so many other reasons, which I am going to explain now.
Now or never. The idea of regret scares the living day lights out of me. The fact that 12 months after graduating the postgraduate visa to work in the United States isn’t an option made me get up off my ass and so it. If I didn’t take advantage of it before November, I’d never have the opportunity to just up sticks and land in the USA ever again. So after Christmas, when I realised that I could actually afford it and that time was ticking, I got onto USIT and I started my application for a visa… and here we are! No regrets!
New York is New York. There’s a reason why 11 million people live there. I’m not the first and I certainly won’t be the last person to have ‘live in NYC’ at the top of their bucket list. New York city is everyone’s dream and there’s a reason. It’s the most famous city in the world for a reason. It’s the set of the most movies in the world for a reason. I understand it’s for the buzz of it, for the hustle and bustle, for the work hard – play hard atmosphere. I understand all of that, but I need to go and see it for myself. I need to feel that vibe that everyone says New York has for myself. I cannot wait to truly understand the NYC vibe!
For the adventure and unknown. I understand it was dumb to leave a well paid, stable job in a university to go to the most competitive environment in the world to try and find a job but staying in Santiago was too safe for me. It was the boring, less adventurous choice. Don’t get me wrong, Santiago was an adventure for me in the beginning, I took a job I knew almost nothing about in a city I had barely ever heard of with 3 weeks notice. That choice was insane. However, the adventure in Santiago had worn off once I knew everything about it and knew all of the ins and outs. So, I had to throw myself out of my comfort zone again… because apparently that’s what I do?! No matter how scary the unknown is to me, adventure always wins!
To just do me. New York is supposed to be magical, magnetic and almost everyone that goes there falls in love. I’m going on my own to see the magic for myself and to hopefully fall in love with the city that never sleeps. I hope to make it my home for the next year and a bit and I’m going on my own because I want to. I want to just do me. I want to go to a city where I know relatively no one (relative to Galway where I know almost everyone, or so it feels!) and do whatever I want. Be accountable to no one but myself, be me in every sense of me! I’m not one to save money and buy clothes or things. I don’t get satisfaction or happiness from owning material goods (except maybe a car!)… I’ve always been the same. Whenever I have a little bit of money the first thing I do is go on skyscanner. I have always spent my money on travel and I don’t ever want that to change. Having nice clothes is great and all but considering I hate shopping, I just buy the bare minimum to get me by all year (so that I’m not walking around naked!) and get on with my travels. So, once I had a job that paid me more than minimum wage the logical thing for me to spend my money on was a big move to follow my dreams. Which brings me to my next point…
To follow my dream. it has always been my dream to move to NYC. I remember my best friend Áine and I discussing moving to New York and living there for the rest of our lives before we knew what visas even were and that it wasn’t exactly an easy option. I can’t remember when I first said it out loud but I have been saying it openly to people that I was going to move to NYC since I went on Erasmus which was 5 years ago. And I didn’t, I did a Masters for two years and then took a job in Europe for a year before now, I can finally actually follow through with the dream and goal I set myself so long ago. I’m always one to follow through on what I say I’ll do and here I am, finally following through with my dream tomorrow. Tomorrow is the big day and I’ve never felt such a whirlwind of emotions. I’m anxious yet elated, happy and sad. I have never lived so far away and that’s scary but I’ve also never been so excited. Tomorrow, I’m finally realising my dream and I mostly just feel proud of myself!
If anyone is reading this and wants to be my friend in NY, I’d love to meet up because as of now my friends count is at nil. It’s a long one today, so thanks for reading, if you have! As I said, this post is mostly for me, but I thought I’d share it anyway.
This time tomorrow I’ll be in New York…