What I found when flying to the states from Europe or South America was I actually enjoyed all the places I go to in the US much more when I was coming from outside of the US. It's like saying hi to an old, comfortable friend. Now, I still wouldn't want to stay with that friend for months or years at a time, but when seeing and staying with them for a week or two, things seem much more beautiful and special. It seems like a true reunion: everyone is excited to see you, and you them. It's the perfect amount of time to connect with friends and coworkers before going back to life on the road.
International travel is a pain, but somehow, it's better than the 5-hour flight to and from LA -NY. And I don't know why. I don't know if it's because that became such a routine that it was something to dread or if international anything is just sexier. Could I meet a Parisian boyfriend on my flight from Paris to NY? I wouldn’t be mad about it.
Either way, traveling back to the US becomes more of an EVENT. People are so much more excited to see you and plans are easily made. I have stories to share, and I want to know about the life that I've missed out on.
I strongly felt this way the first couple of times I went to the US from my temporary home bases around the world as I travel for a year. However, it was interesting to see a distinct change between the way I felt about NY and LA. If NY was like seeing an old friend that you haven’t seen for a while but you love and nothing changes in the way you interact with each other, LA was like seeing your ex-boyfriend for the first time after a bad breakup. Toward the end of our relationship, neither one of us was really feeling each other and you’re not quite sure why you agreed to get lunch thinking it wouldn’t be weird. Of course, it’s weird and you leave feeling a bit emotionally taxed.
If NY was like seeing an old friend, LA was like seeing an ex-boyfriend after a bad breakup
As I write in my first blog post – I left LA after living in the city for five years and no longer felt like it was helping me grow. I felt trapped in a routine of longstanding friends and unproductive hobbies while I was still there. Returning to LA – even for just a week – solidified that I made the right choice in leaving and amplified my longing for my current life back abroad.
But I know that this year is just a year abroad, and I’m now nearing the end. Being a digital nomad isn’t my forever – or at least – not as I see it right now. While I love traveling and the community I am traveling with is amazing, hopping from city to city without a permanent home base is not for me. I long to recreate a home that I created, with my own personal decorating touches, building a little universe that is mine.
Where that home will be continues to be determined, but I’ve found that life is better with less expectations…