Nomadic Life posts are personal recaps of what life is really like when you live like a moving target. From personal challenges and triumphs to upcoming travel plans, here’s an insider look into my life out of a suitcase.
Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Austin, Cuba, Mexico, New York, Kiev.
Between December 18 and February 26, I didn’t spend more than five consecutive nights in one single place. That’s over two months of being constantly on the move, lugging my possessions around after me in a roll-y carry-on duffle bag (that was totally destroyed at the end of those two months).
Everything was wonderful and I’ll tell you all about it later.
But now I am in Kiev, and my tired feet are grateful to find some solid ground. Sure, it’s colder here than in Mexico (just barely) and I’m struggling a bit with the Cyrillic alphabet, but I’m happy to be able to unpack for a hot minute.
I was in New York for just a few days before I left on my one-way ticket to Europe. Between the packing and meeting up with friends and generally just pacing around in circles as I do before a big flight, the visit went by way too fast. It’s hard to walk down the streets of New York City in springtime and not love it. I literally wanted to hug the pavement in front of Lincoln Center. I went to my childhood Barnes and Noble just to smell the books. And yes, I did try the new everything bagel doughnut that’s the buzz of the town.
In truth, I’d started to miss New York. I’d had enough distance, you know, and time to forget some of the frustrating things that had led me to leave. And beyond that, I missed a little… stability.
I missed having “my place where.” I missed having my place where I got my bagel breakfast sandwiches. I missed having my place where I took my dry cleaning. I missed my place where I went for coffee and to work/procrastinate on Facebook.
I love constantly traveling and being a nomad and am excited for the new adventures of 2016. But there’s something to be said about having something to ground you. In all that traveling, especially when I was traveling solo in Mexico, there were times I started to feel seriously unmoored. I could be a different person day by day, sometimes hour by hour. There was no one and nothing to tell me otherwise.
So when I returned to New York and remembered I used to have all my places where, my heart ached a little. Nomad or not, there’s something about physical spaces that informs our identities. I am someone who does things. I can prove it. This is where I get on the subway for work. This is where I play pool with Boyfriend. This is where I buy my doughnuts. In this neighborhood, at least.
It was bittersweet to leave my places where in New York. There’s a good chance I’ll be back at the end of the year, but I haven’t booked a ticket yet. And to be honest, I am already incredibly comfortable in Ukraine. I’ve already got a few my places where here. I’ve got my place where I can eat butter candles, my place where I go to have a cheap cappuccino and repeat the same discussion with the owner about being from New York, my place where I get hipster cocktails and disapproving glances for laughing too loud.
My time in Kiev is going to be fantastic. I’m thrilled to be here for (at least) two months. I can’t wait to find more my places where. It’s part discovery and part growing roots. Because, after all, I’m still looking for my place where I get donuts here in Kiev.