Just arrived home in Sydney after a whirlwind trip to NYC and Chicago, two of the busiest, brassiest, badass-est cities I have ever had the privilege of visiting, and it was spectacular. I got to enjoy both with all the time and energy I could muster, and I now that I’m back home, I feel, despite all the sight-seeing and walking and constant late nights out, really, really really refreshed.
Why? Coz all I did while I was away was focus on BEING AWAY. I left work at work. I left all my responsibilities of home at home. All I had to worry about while I was gone was how to be gone and how to enjoy being gone.
I didn’t write. I didn’t take many photos (OK, some). I didn’t update my social media accounts often (semi-often, mostly just inane shots of weird stuff).
I just enjoyed being away.
It’s the first time since maybe July of last year that I have felt relaxed. Even though there was the Christmas break, countless public holidays and even days where I worked from home, I was running on all cylinders and I was burning out. I was still plodding along, but “plodding along” isn’t conducive to anything exciting, and I didn’t want to just go through the motions of work.
I NEEDED this break like I needed air to breathe.
Windy City Awesomeness
In Chicago, I was lucky enough to enjoy it with two great friends and my equally great boyfriend, who calls Chicago home (although he is now currently based in Sydney). Had I been half-assed about spending time with my trio of trouble, I would’ve missed out on how funny my friends are – every little stupid joke and every new “American” encounter cracked us up. I would’ve overlooked the pleasure on my boy’s face in seeing him traipse us around his hometown with pride – he loves his city and he was proud to show it off. I would have gone to bed the night we went to an improv show at the famed Second City comedy club (alumni include Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Bill Murray and the janitor from The Breakfast Club). I would have baulked at the crazed Chicago Blackhawks fans at the United Center (saw two pretty nail-biting games – and I don’t even follow ice hockey!). I would have clamped up at Take Me Out to the Ball Game during the 7th Inning Stretch at a game between the Cubs and the White Soxs at Wrigley Field. I would’ve turned down every Chicago down, every tamale, every piece of Deep Dish Pizza.
Breathtaking Big Apple
Had I carried this “can’t be bothered” attitude In New York, I would have flat-out refused to walk the Brooklyn Bridge (“It’s too hot!” or “It’s too long!”). I would have insisted on cab rides everywhere instead of being adventurous (and money-wise) and catching the subway. I would not have waited in line to go up to the 85th floor or higher of the Empire State Building. I would not have discovered that Williamsburg was like Surry Hills, only a little more Brooklyn-ier (and everything Surry Hills wishes it was). I would not have tried for tickets to the David Letterman Show taping (imagine having a “we’ll never get tickets to that” – coz we got ’em!). I would not have walked around the East Village with no goal for the day. I would not have taken in the awesome-ness of the Big Apple. I would not have partied at the top floor of The Standard on a stormy night watching the city below light up. I would not have let the World Trade Center memorial affect me as much as it did. I would not have let anything affect me as much as it did.
Even my flight delay was a breathe of fresh air. I got to rest for free in LA and sleep in a bed in a hotel, a welcome addition to my travel plans considering my impending 14 hour flight from LAX to Kingsford Smith. I finished 2 books and started a third (reading, not writing). I people-watched. I ate two meals consisting of pasta with a glass of wine each because I wanted to use up my travel money. I bought trashy mags and caught up on my celebrity gossip (is it just me or has Kim Kardashian been pregnant for like, FOREVER? Also, what happened to that moon-faced kid from Nickelodeon’s The Amanda Show?). I slept and napped. I got up to stretch. I read a little more. Then I napped again.
And now I’m home, and it’s not only the places I visited that I will remember fondly. It’s the fact that this time around, I did NOTHING but be away from home.
I know there will be a shit-storm of work awaiting me tomorrow, a flat to clean, luggage to unpack, groceries to buy, laundry to attend to and quite possibly apples I forgot to eat that are probably dying in my fruit bowl (gross), but I’ve come back with the lesson that I can be as busy as I want to be, but I need to take some time to breathe.
It’s good to be home ❤