It’s August. My program starts in a matter of weeks, and like most Europeans who take August off to travel and relax, I too am enjoying my summer vacation. Ok, well I didn’t make it out to Croatia or anything like my friend Robert did, but I am lucky enough that I’m from SoCal, a true summer beach destination in itself.
I left NYC, my home away from home for the last 6 years, a little over 2 1/2 weeks ago. As much as I’ve complained about New York, I really do love it. It is probably the best example of a true love/hate relationship to me – it kicked my ass and put a smile on my face all in the same day. I complained about living there constantly (about the size of apartments, about dating, about the cost of just about everything) but I also felt the biggest amount of pride living there as well. And I knew that the only way I would be ok with leaving NYC was if the next place was just as awesome to me. So when the opportunity to not only get my MBA but to get it in Milan arose, it was a no-brainer that I had to go. And the idea of giving myself a month at home to change gears and prepare for my upcoming year sounded like a good idea at the time, until I got here.
The first week I was back in Cali, I was miserable. Coming from a bustling metropolitan city to the suburbs is a hard enough adjustment, but adding on the emo-ness of moving away from many of my close friends and big city comforts was Rough. Don’t get me wrong, I am lucky that I still have a strong social network of both family and close friends here in Cali. I just needed some time to mope, I was allowed that! So mope I did, while stuffing my face with my mom’s home cooking to ease the transition. After a solid week of binge eating and watching the Olympics, I realized what a fool I was for wasting my precious time here. It’s not like I live in some obscure midwest state, I live in one of the most coveted places in the US! So I grabbed my latest NY Mag, uploaded a few Pimsleur Italian lessons onto my iPhone, and headed to the beach. And the moment I hit the sand I instantly felt better. It is true what they say about the sun doing wonders on your attitude, isn’t it Hallie?
The other day I laughed when Chris said “I’m pretty sure there is no such thing as stress in California.” I instantly thought about the road rage I experienced when I was stuck in traffic in LA last week and knew that wasn’t true, but it did get me thinking. Why is it that Californians tend to be more relaxed and generally happier anyway? I have noticed a definite difference in New York from those who are from Cali and those who aren’t. Is it the all-year-round near perfect weather, the close proximity to the beach, the abundance of avocados? It’s gotta be something.
Whatever it may be, for the last few weeks I have felt more like my old self with balancing time with friends, prepping for my move and, of course, hitting the beach as much as possible. As much as I love to travel, I can’t forget how lucky I am to be from here. I have about 10 days left in Cali before I head to Milan and am instantly thrown into a whirlwind of taking care of all my to-dos before classes start, so I need to make the most of my stress-free living now. But really, how hard can it be to open a bank account, get a new phone service and find an apartment if I don’t speak Italian, anyway?