If you have stayed in a city for almost a month or more, you can claim that you lived in that city. Periodt! Don’t let anybody tell you anything different! That being said, I have lived in New York City, Northern Tuscany, Italy, Atlanta, Montreal, Canada, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, Lisbon, Portugal, and Istanbul, Turkey.
NYC(21 years): I was born and raised throughout NYC. My mama pushed me out of her womb in the borough of Manhattan. I lived in between Brooklyn and Queens as a youngin’. During my teenage years, I lived in Queens but I went to a Catholic high school in Long Island. I’ve always loved Brooklyn more than any of the boroughs in New York City so I moved back to BK as soon as I became an adult at the age of 18.
The coolest thing about living in NYC is that you get to experience so many diverse people and international cuisines all in one place. NYC has some of the world’s most incredible restaurants. If you are a foodie, this will be your concrete paradise. You’ll find that NYC has everything at your convenience at any time of the day. When I was growing up there, I used to see some barbershops, hair salons, and nail salons that would be open past midnight. On top of that, you can find any and every product that you need there.
Tuscany, Italy (about a month): I did a month-long study abroad program in Italy back in 2015. Italy is everything that it’s been hyped up to be. The food is delicious. Oh and the seafood is so yummy! The country is way more beautiful in reality vs. what you see in pictures. The highlight of my experience there was learning how to speak Italian. I loved watching how Italians communicate with such a unique flare. Italians are passionate about everything Italian-made. It was fun to observe their body languages and hand gestures as they expressed their passions for everything that’s Italian. I couldn’t help but imagine myself speaking Italian fluently and communicating like a native Italian someday.
Atlanta (almost 2 years): Aye! Living in the “A” was so much fun. The southern hospitality struck my heart after having lived in the rough north of the USA(NYC) most of my life. In the same week that I moved there, I made friends that welcomed me into their homes and quickly included me in all the gatherings as if I was another well known family member. In my opinion, the ”A” in Atlanta stands for adulting. I say this because I moved to Atlanta intending to get everything I had ever dreamed of having when I was a teenager. Once I got settled in Atlanta, it was so easy for me to get apartments, cars, and all the adult stuff we often crave as teens. I racked it all up because I could. But, I’ll admit… I got carried away trying to fulfill all these adult-like fantasies. I bought a bunch of this stuff with the intent to show off that I can get it all without years of hard work. I wanted to see for myself if it’s actually possible. It certainly is possible. Anything is possible… But, the down side to this was that I had it all at some point but I still felt empty. At that point, I was left to face myself and connect with my heart. I discovered that I wanted my adult-life to be completely different. Instead of having cars and apartments, I really wanted to be free to travel the world. I couldn’t accept this truth from the very beginning because I thought I needed to have everything put together or have a lot of money before I travel. But that doesn’t have to be true. I am proof that you really do not need a lot in order to travel. I made my first move abroad with just $100 and a suitcase. Again I say anything is possible.
Haiti (one month of pure relaxation): One day I woke up in my apartment in Atlanta with a desire to “grow-down” instead of being a grown-up. By “grow-down”, I mean I wanted to experience living as a big kid. To me, being a big kid again meant being taken cared of by a nurturing person. I envisioned all my meals would be prepared by another adult, my laundry would be hand washed, and I don’t have any adult-like responsibilities. Sure enough, I experienced exactly what I wished for in Haiti. My aunt hired a someone to attend to all my needs and take care of me while I was staying at her house for the month. I remember this sweet sister would knock at my bedroom door each morning to ask me what I wanted to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She would go out to the market early in the morning to pick out fresh fruits and hand squeeze the fruits to make my juices. This is what I like to call LOVE. That month in Haiti was only for me to experience being nurtured as a child. I was 23 years old on paper but I claimed that I was going to act as if I were 5 (split your age digits then add them up) years old. Learn more about this experience here
Montreal, Canada(several months): I have traveled to this amazing city countless times because many of my family members reside there. Montreal has so many fun activities to do all year round. I love that this city is so close to New York but it has a totally different vibe. Montreal is a French-speaking city so it always felt as if I was traveling to a another European city by bus. The food here is good too. I loved exploring all the city’s vegan and vegetarian options when I was about that vegan life.
Playa del Carmen(almost 2 years): Such a cool place to live if you’d like to live near the beach. Listen… forget what the media may have told you about Mexicans. Mexicans are nurturing people. They really know how to take great care of people. I could say that the energy there feels like a never-ending hug from your Grandma. These people would go above and beyond to make sure that I was always comfortable and satisfied. The climate is always warm and the beaches are beautiful from the months of November to March.
I highly recommend staying on the beach. My dreams of living on the beach were fulfilled here. You must experience the peacefulness that comes from falling asleep to the sound and smell of real ocean waves and waking up to that beautiful water view in the morning.
Lisbon, Portugal: The food here is delicious. It’s a cool place for weekend getaways. It was quite dull when I arrived because of all of the restrictions. I thought I could see myself living there during my first week but it turns out that I was wrong. The vibe was too dull for me and so I left.
Istanbul, Turkey: Living in Istanbul is pretty sweet. I can talk about my experience living here all day. Thanks to the law of attraction, the universe matched me with this awesome city because it features everything I have been appreciating in all the different cities that I’ve mentioned above. As you travel and appreciate things, it’s like you become a magnet for more of the things you love so the things you love will naturally appear in abundance when you move. For example, I appreciate drinking good quality spring water- Istanbul has that. I appreciate high quality leather goods- Istanbul has that too. I appreciate living in a city surrounded by a large body of water- Istanbul is that. I can go on and on. You get my point right?
What are some things that you appreciate about the city where you live?