Being Here, Version NY

It’s July 1st. I’m for real back in America. There’s no getting around it anymore, there’s no more debating over going to Bondi for post-beach drinks or going to the Golden Sheaf on Wednesdays, there’s no more pretending I’m going hiking in the Fjiordland of New Zealand in a few days, there’s no more listening for Aussie accents at the supermarket, there’s no more waking up next to Bennett, Jess and B or hoping the boys in room 502 are making dinner so I don’t have to cook. I’m back in NY suburbia and I head back to Chapel Hill in the fall without any planned international travels ahead of me. And much to my surprise, I’m ok with that.

I’ve learned so much from traveling – more than I ever thought I would and probably more than I have at school. I’ve learned about myself, other people and the world around me. With that being said, I think that the most important lesson I’ve learned thus far is to be where I am and enjoy what is while it’s there. I’ve always been the kind of person that thinks too much about the future and about the past. Being abroad, especially my 4 months in Australia, changed that for me. I’d get homesick but I trained my mind to remember that I’m only here for so long and even though every day wasn’t exciting in the way it is when you’re backpacking, I still needed to keep my mind present and make the most of all the opportunities coming my way. This huge lesson translated over to my homecoming and I’m so grateful.

Usually I’m restless when I’m home, itching to get out. This summer has been so wonderful in the sense that I’ve made plans and I’ve been on the go but the routine that I’ve somewhat settled into is good for me and I’m so appreciative of my family, my friends, Long Island and New York more generally. New York in the summer rocks and deserves much more credit than I’ve ever given it. I’m a half hour away from one of the world’s greatest cities and a half hour away from the beach. I’m an hour away from the Hamptons and two away from the Appalachians and Catskills. Plus, I’m close enough to Boston and Providence and other awesome cities that if I do need some change, all I have to do is pick a direction and start driving. Here’s a taste of what the fun side of summer has looked like!

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