An eight hour bus ride from Barcelona to Madrid. Madrid felt like Barcelona’s younger brother, which was a nice change of pace. Plenty to see, do, and eat but slightly more relaxed.
We flew from Paris to Barcelona. I liked Barcelona, a lot. If I had to pick a non-english speaking country to live in it would likely be the one. Coffee, food, art, history, and alleyways for days.
We took a bullet (maybe it wasn’t a bullet train, but it was fast) train from Amsterdam to Paris that only took about three hours. We went to Paris to meet up with the eurotrip tour group Oscar and Maurizio left. They did it for 13 days while other members on the tour were there for 26.
After a nine hour bus ride from Berlin to Amsterdam we arrived. We had a nice little hotel outside of the city in a suburb called Zwanenburg. Two train stops in to the city and we were there in 15 minutes. Bikes everywhere.
At this time in the trip Amsterdam was my favorite city. It reminded me a lot of Melbourne.
A delayed flight to Düsseldorf, and a delayed connection to Berlin. We did not have the exact address to our AirBnb so we walked up and down the road a few times. We knew it was on the 4th floor so we looked for 5 story buildings. We ended up trying the key in random 5 story buildings until it worked. We got it!
Great food, great beer, and great soccer. Until an upset Italian threw a glass at a Barca fan.
Flying in to London to meet up with friends before touring a few European countries. We ended up staying out until 4am and leaving for our plane at 5am to Germany.
Couscous and New York, New York: two things so nice they named them twice. When I initially decided to move to NYC I don’t think I realized just how different the city would be, and how much my perspective about so many things would change.
Prior to arriving in NYC I had been to a lot of other cities all over the world. But until actually living there I think it’s very hard to prepare yourself for what is to come. Having gone for conferences and visiting friends I thought it would be a smooth transition. It was not as smooth as I thought.
Not only was it the first time living in such a large city, but it was the first time in almost three years that I would have roommates. I was very worried about that before arriving, but realized immediately that I landed in the perfect situation. I could not ask for better roommates.
Our apartment was a (real) two bedroom apartment in Midtown Manhattan. They shared a room, while I had my own. I had a great view out of my tall windows where I ended up working from most of the time. There was an office building across the street so I “worked with them” all day.
I brought with me a few mementos from home: my WordPress pillow, a few books (that were never cracked), and some keepsakes from friends. My goal while I was there was to buy as few items as possible. The things I did buy I knew I could leave to Ariana for her new apartment.
My overall day-to-day life didn’t change super drastically from the prior months. I worked in the mornings and afternoons and tried to explore as much as I could in the evenings. What did change was the little “tasks” that everyone does throughout the day. What my favorite part about the city came to be was the ability to get things done very efficiently at any time of the day.
Want a coffee? Head around the corner. Want some lunch? Head around the corner. Need to fix the shower head that broke? Head around the corner? Need another coffee? Head around the corner. Want to meet friends for happy hour? Head around the corner.
I like to drive. That wasn’t always the case, but in my recent years I have really come to enjoy the act of driving. But this is only the case when I’m driving because I’m choosing to go somewhere on my own. If I *have* to be somewhere then the act of driving becomes a total hassle. And the issue with Orlando is that is almost always the only option.
In New York there are so many ways to get from point A to point B that I never found myself really loathing having to go anywhere. Yes, it can be a pain to get from the east side to the west side but even that is not much. If you’re not in the mood to wait for a subway, take a taxi. If you don’t want to pay for a taxi, walk. If you don’t want to walk, take the ferry. If you don’t want to take the ferry rent a bike.
It takes a different kind of person to live in NYC; or at least Manhattan. And I like that type of person. You have to be willing to be a bit aggressive, be driven, and adaptive. It was very refreshing being around so many career-driven people. In fact I felt very lazy most of the time compared to the people I was around. I probably worked more the last three months than most. My roommates would leave before I would get up in the morning and get back from work hours after I had stopped.
This drive helped me have a very productive few months. Astoundify has done great, I’ve worked on a few side projects on the weekends, and in general I have been very happy.
The recurring theme is options. There is always something to do, always something going on, or always someone around willing to make it happen. If I wanted to do something, I knew I didn’t have to look far. I will miss that.
“Yee, she’s alwright”
More than just a roommate: a great friend, connoisseur of the finer things in life, and the real boss of 11Q (sorry Katherine). I will miss our days sitting on the couch watching House Hunters and digesting. The city felt a lot less overwhelming with all of your amazing recommendations, friendly introductions, and constant explanations of all things abbreviated.
Few people can stand my constant terrible jokes and (hilarious) nature for very long. I’m wise enough to know this should not be taken for granted and I will cherish your friendship always.