I’m a city girl.
Don’t get me wrong, I love nature. I love the space and clean air and just enormous beauty that exists when I go on hikes, the beach is probably one of my favorite places to be and camping trips with my family are some of the fondest memories I have.
But- I am a city girl. sitting in front of a beautiful sunset is inspiring but it does not compare to the enjoyment I get from people watching. If the beach is in my top ten a close second is the train station. I love to sit on a bench and make up names and stories for the faces rushing by. There goes Lisa the lawyer who hates her job and wishes she could move to Africa and tour the safari’s (you can tell by the tiny African monkey key chain she keeps on her fancy purse). And there’s Jacob who’s sitting across from me looking so miserable because he was just dumped and he doesn’t want to go home to an empty apartment. And there is Dave who looks exhausted but obviously overjoyed- he’s on his way home to his newborn daughter.
Nothing really compares to that thrill I get when I walk down a busy street in a city and see all of the coffee shops, book stores, pubs and movie theaters I could stop at if I just wanted to. The fact that I don’t is irrelevant. Just the knowledge that I could if I wished and if I did I would have so many options, makes me undeniably happy. I can’t really explain it.
On days when I feel ugly I window shop to my hearts content, trying on all the dresses I would never buy even if I could afford them. I can spend hours lost in bookstores without ever buying a book. I love walking through house ware stores looking at all the pretty dishes and coffee cups. Office supplies shops to – those are so underrated! All of the colorful notebooks, pens and boxes of paperclips!? it doesn’t matter that I’ve been using a computer almost exclusively for about 3-4 years now. The smell of clean cut paper and a good new pen always get my creative juices flowing and I want to pull one out then and there and start writing.
Sometimes those window shopping sprees are dangerous because some days I end up buying something in nearly each store I go through and then stand staring at home with everything spread out on my bed wondering how on earth I got there. I vow never to do it again but it doesn’t take long for the streets to call me out once more.
I got in to running for the exercise but I continued because I love running through all of the little alleyways and parks I never see in the daytime when I’m too busy to stop and look around. I love the silent companionship that sort of develops between runners. we run past each other silently and I may not know their names but I know where I will meet each one every evening just like clockwork.
I met up with a friend over the weekend and we spent around half an hour just fantasizing about the vacation we will take now that our exams are finally over (YAY!!!! I spent two whole days in my P.J’s to celebrate and it was fantastic) While my dream is somewhere in Europe (New York is like my favorite city in the world but I’ve already been so many times) where I can people watch in a whole new country and learn about different cultures (and also just spend a few days by the hotel pool) she went on and on about this huge backpacking trip she had planned. Just listening to her made it a little harder to breath and with every mountain she described climbing I just got more and more claustrophobic.
Sure, city’s have pollution and traffic and noise. But as the poet Charles Baudelaire says in one of my favorite quotes: “What strange phenomena we find in a great city, all we need do is stroll about with our eyes open.”
What about you? are you a city or country person? what about each makes you tick?
and p.s- have any recommendations on cities I should visit during my (very) “long time coming” summer vacation?