The past year and a half have been steadily leading me to feel like I'm leaving myself behind. I can't say I've been living to work, but I have absolutely been surviving to work, and the feeling of burnout has been apparent even through much of this year. When I turned 30 earlier this year, I promised myself that I would change that.

One of the promises I made myself was that I would start to travel more. I wanted to get a passport, and to break the habit of "being spontaneous" that has been a hallmark of my personality for much of my life, thanks in large part to being a student and/or employed by a university or school. I have, to this point, been terrible about finding time to take a break.

Over the summer, I finally put my nose to the grind and made some changes. I submitted for my passport. I requested time off in the fall for a real vacation. I picked a destination, someplace I'd never before been.

And then I met New York City.

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Short of a family trip there when I was somewhere around 18 months old, I've never before been to New York. I had heard stories, and seen movies. And I decided it seemed as good a place as any to start exploring the world more.

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There's something liberating about New York City. I always love cities where I can travel and then get around nearly anywhere without having to drive on my own. But more than that, I fell in love with the sheer sense of life surrounding me. I found my mind wandering and thinking of a world of new and interesting possibility.

I loved this city that seemed like it would lose itself without its wealth of diversity. I loved how much culture, life, and food could be found just a few steps out the door. I love that this city, a stranger to me, wrapped me in its embrace and made feel more at peace than I have all year.

Thank you, New York. We'll meet again soon.

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