September 12, 2008

A Year Down The Road

I'm a little incredulous when I look at the date of my last blog entry that it is now a year since I entered anything here. Certainly, this year has whizzed past and has been an extremely eventful one. Having made concrete plans to leave Ireland last January, I had secured a job teaching English in South Korea.. Money was saved, wheels were set in motion, and I was all set to go. And then, totally out of the blue, something entirely unexpected happened....

The company that I used to work for before I went on my RTW offered me a new position within the company - a move to NYC alone to manage their new office in Manhattan! Now most people would kill for this kind of opportunity, and truth be told, Korea suddenly seemed less attractive. So, after a little soul searching, I decided to go for it. One month later I moved to New York and I've been here since.

I suppose the main reason that I dont keep up my blog anymore is two-fold:

1. I'm not travelling as often and the same impetus isn't there
2. Life has become incredibly work-centric these days. When I do find myself with free time I tend to maximise it by experiencing everything this city has to offer...and boy is there a lot to choose from!

It's certainly a trip living here. Every day is a new experience, not so much on the job front (work is work), but otherwise. New York is a city of superlatives - that is the only way I can describe it. Even after 8 months here, I still feel like a total newcomer, still feel like I'm settling in. One thing I'm starting to realise is that you have to be tough to survive in New York...tough and, preferably, rich!

Back in 2006, I started my RTW trip in New York, spending 3 days here before flying south to Lima. My experience and impressions of the city during those three days were entirely differnet to what they are now. Visiting New York and living here are two entirely different things. As a visitor it's easy to fall head over heels with The Big Apple. No matter what time of the year you visit here, it is captivating. As a resident and worker here, I have developed a love/hate relationship with the city. There are days when you look up at the graceful architecture of the Chrysler building or sit at night people watching in Bryant Park and feel that New York is just exactly where you want to be. And then there are days when all you hear are the sirens and the traffic horns, people jostle and bump you in the street, you stand with 200 other people at a street crossing and feel acutely your insignificance on this planet. On occasions you feel the city is full of possibilities, undiscovered treasures and experiences yet to happen. And on others you feel like a nobody here. No-one really looks at anyone in New York - there's just too many people. Yesterday I read in National Geographic a slightly jarring fact: If you moved the entire population of the world to Texas, the population density would still be lower than that of New York City. Think about that for a second......

So there are days when you look around this metropolis and wonder what life is all about, but hand on heart I can say it probably the most exciting place I have lived to date. There's always something to do, someone to hang out with, an exhibitionist on some street corner to watch. New York is a voyeur's paradise, and for the aspiring writer, artist, photographer there is a world of material at your fingertips.

Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I always have a plan of some sort in the hatching. Whether I ever actually realise them all is another thing, but I'm certainly always cooking something up. And this year finds me no different. I suspect that I will stay in New York for a while, at least for the next year or so, but while I am I plan to make the most of my time here. I'm glad to say my travel bug hasn't waned one bit, and in the last while I have finally considered how I can arrange my life so that my work facilitates this great passion of mine. I think I have found the answer, and now I just have to try and make it happen, and no better place to make things happen than New York City. ;)

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