One of the silent pacts I made with myself late last year/early this year was that I would do more things that simply made me happy — something I realized I’d far too rarely done. Well, one of those things, unbeknownst to me at the time, became traveling… a lot.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve always known that I enjoy traveling, but I would have never known just how much until this year. To date though, this year, I’ve gone to Chicago, New York, Philly, New Jersey, back home to New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Richmond, and Louisville (with someone of those happening more than once). And I want to do more!
What I realized even more than my love for traveling, though, is that I adore cities with their own identity/culture/spirit. And it’s something I can instantly feel upon entering a place too. It’s one of the reasons I think I enjoyed Paris more than London last year and San Francisco, Chicago, and Louisville more than I initially expected.
You may be asking what I mean by a city identity. Well, what I mean is that it has that je ne sais quoi about it. It’s that feeling that tells you even if you don’t like a particular place, you know you’re there as soon as you touch down. For example, say what you want about places like Baltimore and Philly, I love that you know you’re in Baltimore and Philly from the moment you get there. Basically, the place isn’t generic city, USA or generic locale in the world.
The more I think about this need of mine, I’m sure it comes from the fact that I was born and raised in New Orleans, a place that is distinctly New Orleans (for better or worse) at all times. And I grew up believing in the importance of that. Then I moved to DC and became a woman in another region that also has its own flavor, its own bits of history, etc…
What I’m not sure about is whether this need has become more pronounced because I’m starting to get that moving itch again or just because of all the traveling I’ve been doing. It could be a combination of both. I do know that the itch to move continues to grow for me (even while I’m in a job I actually love right now – strange), and so when I visit places, it is in the back of my mind a bit — could I see myself living here?
And the answer is usually a resounding no if I don’t feel anything about the city. I know that about me now. I know wherever I move to next, it will have to be a place that has that orange aura so many crave when discussing men and women.
Speaking of men, I’m also learning that my desires for certain cities/locales are not that different from what I desire in a guy. He has to be authentic, have a sense of himself, be interesting and catch my attention (flaws and all – and let’s be real, some of the most interesting places have MAJOR flaws!). Any old generic guy (just like my future city) won’t do anymore.
Am I alone here? Do you have a pattern in what you seek in men/women that matches up with other parts of your life – maybe where you want to live, what you like to read, etc?