[one’s idea]

one’s idea
of paradise
is a matter
of perspective:
one day
it’s a little town
on a hill
by the sea
in Italy…
then one day
it’s as simple
as anywhere
with you.

T.O. to NYC: Flipsides

She took a step and didn’t want to take any more, but she did.
― Markus Zusak, ‘The Book Thief’

Last night, I switched on the tv and there was a movie about Rome on. It reminded me of my last trip there and I started to hyperventilate because I was gripped by this indescribable, irresistible, powerful, almost manic urge to go back. I whipped out a notebook, grabbed a pen, started to look at my budget and calculate how much I will need to save every month to make it there ASAP this year…

It’s unfair, I thought when I moved to New York two weeks ago, that I have to start all over now when I spent the last so many years building a life in Toronto. But I know when I was there I felt I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Because I was going to move to the US soon, so there was much I kept on hold. For instance, I didn’t move to a nicer apartment because I didn’t want to be stuck in a lease in case my immigration came along and I needed to leave. Or I didn’t invest in good, new furniture because it would only add to the hassles of moving when the time came.

Now that I’m here, I don’t have to worry about moving. At least not to a new country. There’s that bit of freedom. But when I moved in to my apartment, as I was setting up the place and waiting for furniture and assembling it and all that I felt upset that, for starters, I didn’t have any favourite places I could visit on a whim. I saw a pair of shoes that needed repair and I realised that I don’t know the best shoe-repair shop around here. (In Toronto, it’s “Shoe Therapy” at Bay and Charles.) I felt like getting some hot chocolate and I didn’t know which is the best spot for it. Sure, there are online reviews of pretty much everything, but it’s a different feeling when you’re actually discovering these places for yourself, from your own experiences, by trial and error, you know? And I’d already done all this in Toronto, found all my go-to spots for whenever I needed or wanted or desired any little thing. And I think what was upsetting me was that everything I’d done in Toronto appeared to be in vain because none of it mattered now or made a difference to my new life at this moment.

Then I added to this the fact that I have no friends here. The people I’d grown to love were north of the border and about 500 miles away. In this new city, I know no one. (Except an ex-bf, but that isn’t saying much, really.)

This new city is New York. Have you read of my adventures in Rome? There was something I’d forgotten about myself. My knee-jerk reaction to that movie last night reminded me of it.

If there’s one thing I absolutely love, it’s travelling alone. Solo. Discovering new places by myself, for myself, with no one else’s opinions to muddy mine, on no one else’s time but my own. I’m not afraid to have dinner by myself in a new (or favourite) restaurant. I’m not afraid to visit sights alone. I’m perfectly content in my own company, wandering the streets, people-watching, crowd-gazing, stopping for a bite every now and then, or just sitting down with a book somewhere until I’m ready to move again. Must this place be treated differently just because I happen to be living here now?

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
— Marcel Proust

I love that I’m still single and I get to do all this when there’s no one to hold me back in any way, shape, or form. I don’t have to consider anyone else’s tastes or choices or preferences. That may sound selfish but therein lies a great deal of freedom. One doesn’t always need a companion on these adventures—except maybe if one is doing the tango but that’s a different story altogether. There also isn’t any shame in being a tourist in your own city, in my opinion. And I have yet to cover this one so I will be that tourist. I will try new cafés and eateries and be my usual foodie self. I will venture into old bookstores and grow fond of a few chosen ones. I will visit all kinds of jazz bars and, at some point, play favourites among them. Maybe I’ll be braver still and do brunch alone and find my most-loved spots for it in the city. Carrie Bradshaw did say in season 5 (…right?) of SATC, “You’re never alone in New York. It’s the perfect place to be single. The city is your date.”

The important and incredible thing is that this great city is mine to discover, to explore like I would the ones that I visit—with a major difference being that there is no cap on the time I have here. Isn’t that wonderful?! And to think…I’m actually home.

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Of a Gazillion Flights, Beautiful Things, & Mishappenings

My kind, soulful, interesting, generous readers, lend me your brilliance.

I do not know what to write about. Is it a mental or writer’s block? I don’t think so. I did try writing, but the stuff that oozed out (yuck! I hate the word oozed. But it fits here.) was so personal that I didn’t think it appropriate to share for the sake of other concerned parties. And for the sake of my future sanity that would invariably be affected if those parties were to read it.

It isn’t that I don’t have material to write about either. For instance, I was in India for a month, spent two weeks in Bombay (I’ve called it that my entire life, so I can’t call it Mumbai just to be PC.), two weeks in Delhi, and had a lot of drama. On the boy-front, on the home-front. I haven’t written about any of that yet.

The 2nd half of this year appears to have a lot of travel on the cards for me. I’ve been on 11 flights in less than 2.5 months. That’s quite a bit, wouldn’t you say? It averages to about a flight a week. Crazy.

So anyway, after coming back from India, I went to the US for a week, to get the green card process started. Fell terribly ill there (shivering, shaking, high fever), but came back to Toronto for a weekend, attended a friend’s birthday thingamajig at a popular lounge and guess what? My ex-bf’s friends were there too, at a different party. Some more drama ensued. I fell sicker. Collected Dolce from The Hydrant, where he was staying for the week I was gone, and somehow made it back to the US while being on the verge of fainting at every moment.

I was in the US for 4 weeks. My, what eventful 4 weeks they were! In that time, I recovered, managed a trip to San Francisco (to apartment-hunt, unsuccessfully, but what a wonderful realtor I have!), a trip to NYC (to get away from the awfulness that was NJ for me), and made my way back home, to Toronto, alone. It was the first time I’d ever taken a cab to EWR. Anyway, that was that. Also, it was Dolce’s first time in NYC and in a hotel! My little darling did so amazingly well. I should write about pet-related travel.

And, AND, in the meantime, I was so very generously given the Beautiful Blogger Award by Andy of Our Life in 3D! Could I have been more flattered?! I mean, have you seen his blog yet?! It is so cleverly written, it routinely makes me laugh (but there’s nothing routine about it!), and the Dylanisms he shares really take the cake. That is one funny child. I hope she stays that way forever. (But I don’t have kids, so I don’t know if that’s even possible.) Andy and I connected because of our shared love of traveling and, understandably, I grew a little envious of him when I learned that he and his family go away to sunny beaches during every winter! What a delicious life! But I was in Rome at the time, so I went shopping down Via del Corso while munching on pizza bianco (oh, the memories…) and got over it quickly. He has further honored me by expressing that he would totally do a travel blog with me and, given the traveler he is, if that isn’t one of the most flattering ideas I’ve heard in forever I don’t know what is.

As you can see, there’s a lot to write about. But I don’t know where to begin. Or maybe I don’t know what to think about first, what to deal with first.

It’s strange. Sometime in May I felt like my life was stagnating, like nothing was happening with me, around me. Now it feels like too much is happening, all at the same time.

I’m sorry I have nothing better to offer right now for your reading pleasure. I’ll get my thoughts sorted out and put together something a little more comprehensible.