I love the city, New York especially. I have been to Boston and Philadelphia and a couple of others, but New York is the city I like best, probably because I go there every few months and because it’s (relatively) close to where I live and because I know my way around (or can figure it out fairly well).
My husband and I often say that we should have lived in New York City for at least a year, just for the experience, just to say we did it. There’s so much going on in the city, so much excitement. Anything can happen. And there’s so much to do. You can learn so much just by spending a few days in New York.
Every time I go, I regret not having made that choice to move there for a while. The feeling I get when in New York is just so… Well, I can’t describe it really. I guess it makes me think of all the things that could have been possible, choices I didn’t even know existed, let alone made. My life could be completely different from what it is now, though I suppose that’s true regardless of where I live. I hear other peoples’ stories of how they moved to the city, or grew up there and some of those stories are quite exciting and just make me wish I had done it.
But the truth is, as much as I love the city, I’m a country girl at heart. I don’t know why exactly, or how that came to be, but there it is nonetheless. If you read my last post, this probably doesn’t surprise you (though you might not be surprised if you didn’t). Even if I had moved to the city at some point in my life, it would not have been where I stayed. I long and live for the open space, the green and rolling hills, the trees and wildlife, the sounds of nature, far away from traffic. I love the idea of a slower-paced life (slower than what NYC and sometimes LI provide), of spending an evening sitting on the front porch just enjoying the peace and quiet, watching the world go by. When I visit any place that’s “country,” I feel at home, at peace, like I’ve found something I’ve been missing.
While a great place to live geographically, Long Island isn’t my idea of country living. There are so many people who live here (too many sometimes), and there are stores and shopping centers on every corner it seems. It’s somewhat rare that you’ll see any empty fields or a line of trees. There are parts of Long Island that are still fairly rural compared to other parts, but even these places are no longer really rural. Yes, there are still some farms, but many of the farm land that used to be here no longer is, having been sold off for development. And many of the “farms” these days are wineries (not that I’m complaining about that!). The area where I live used to be very rural. Now it has grown so much and so many people have moved in, that many new schools are being built, housing developments and even more shopping centers are going up (yes, even in this economy) and trees are being torn down everywhere you look. Soon, it won’t be long until Long Island looks much like New York City (well, maybe not sky scrapers). And getting off the island is a nightmare—you have to time it just right, or you’ll spend half of what your normal drive time would be sitting in traffic, moving about an inch per minute. I kid you not. This has happened to me. Plus, there’s no easy way off—you must cross a bridge or take a ferry, neither of which is cheap.
I love the area where I live though. I love that I can drive back roads that not too many people know about. I love that I can come across turtles and horses and wild turkeys and goats and lama and buffalo when out and about (well, not that horses, goats, lama and buffalo roam the streets, but they are kept as pets and/or livestock). I love that some of these animals I can see right from my own window. I love that it takes me 15 minutes to get to the grocery store because that’s how far away it is, as opposed to it taking 20 minutes because of traffic when the store is only 5 minutes away.
At this point in my life, I have no plans to move for a variety of reasons. But maybe someday. It’s possible that my dream of a country life exists because I don’t have it, just as a missed NYC life sounds more exciting than it would have been in reality. It’s also possible that a daily country life wouldn’t provide what I’m looking for. But that’s okay for now. Either way, it gives me something to dream about and I will until (if) I’m proven wrong.
Someday I’ll get my dream home in the country. In the meantime, I can enjoy both the city and country life just by visiting each now and then.