There’s no place like…New York City?

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Another week, another roundup. Here’s this week’s BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel  prompts and responses!

Prompt #13: HOME
For some people, no matter how much they love traveling, there’s always no place like home. Other travelers make their homes wherever they happen to be. Tell us about your home – where is it and why do you consider it your home? 

This song always reminds me of the importance of home in Chicago. Whenever I go home, I’m surrounded by people that love me and I love dearly. Family, friends and neighbors are almost always still there and willing to get together, to catch up and have a good time. Going home is sort of like a good stretch in the morning; sometimes it only lasts for a short time, but the familiar sights, sounds and tastes fill me with a tingly goodness from my head to my toes.

“I feel home when I see the faces that remember my own.”

Prompt #14: QUOTE
What’s your favorite quote about travel? Why does it stand out to you? 

This may come as no surprise that the quote at the top of my blog,Wisdom is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go,” is certainly a favorite of mine. It was Anthony Bourdain who said that. He also said something along the lines of, “The more I travel, the less I know.” Isn’t it the truth! Some things you encounter while traveling are truly stunning. My sister and I had a moment in Montreal where we wondered, “Are we in Heaven?” We really are just a small piece of everything going on out there in the world. Travel puts into perspective just how beautifully dynamic and culture-rich our world is, all while sparking the desire to see MORE.

Prompt #15: CITY 
What is your favorite (or least favorite) city and what do you love (or hate) about it?

I have a love/hate relationship with New York City. Every time I arrive, I step off the bus in Midtown, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready for a Big Apple adventure. I’m filled with awe and wonderment at all the movement around me. I muse over how fast people move and contemplate how everyone’s unique lives intermingle in a common surrounding. I’m always astounded at how MANY people there are and equally impressed that New York City really IS the city that never sleeps! People hang out in the parks and walk the streets, conduct business meetings meet up with old friends, you name it, at any hour of the night. It’s incredible.

That being said, the feeling of claustrophobia becomes too much to bear. Subways are crammed full of people like sardines in a can. People can be rude or worse, dangerous. Although I love NY, I don’t get that feeling that I’m able to stretch out (that’s my Midwest roots talking) and really make the place my own. But isn’t that also the beauty of it, too? So full of struggle, strife, happiness, food, culture, art. New York City is life.

Prompt #16: BAGGAGE

Mental baggage can weigh us down as much as physical baggage when we travel. How do you travel lightly – either emotionally or physically?

As much as you can let baggage get you down, as Kanye West says, “I can let these dream killers kill my self esteem, or use my arrogance as the steam to power my dreams,” you have to convert negative energy into positive action. A major reason for my moving away from home was to get over a broken heart. Instead of sitting home, lulling over the guy who wouldn’t call me, hurting myself further, I took that negative mindset and developed it into a positive, proactive mindset that led me to want to explore the world, one small step at a time. Sometimes baggage can get you down, but if you can find a way to tread lightly and true, your travels will be that much more rich in meaning.

Me and my best girlfriends in St. Louis. I felt free.

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