When you are adhered to the same general vicinity for seventeen years, you develop an enormous comfort zone with a slight curiosity for the world around you. In my personal case, that curiosity is giant rather than slight. In March of 2012, I traveled to New York City. While there, I took a colossal leap outside of my comfort zone of being stuck in suburban Columbus, Ohio. I spent a day exploring what has become of such a distinguished city, while falling in love at the same time.
At seventeen, I hadn’t been exposed to the fast paced lifestyle of self-sufficiency and independence until I arrived in the city.
I witnessed the hustle and bustle of the people in the streets, to the homeless attempting to fend for themselves, to the flickering lights of the underground. Admirable among my trip was the individuality of the people and their lack of caring about the people around them. It is a city of self-expression and standing out, all while blending in.
I began to realize that standing next to the buildings that scrape the skyline was comparable to an ant at my feet. The architecture is absolutely astonishing, and the landmarks are unbelievable. We took a ferry from Battery Park to Staten Island, working around the Statue of Liberty. Seeing it in person makes you value the work that was put into it and what it stands for. The evening came, and we made our way to Times Square. I did not believe anything man-made and filled with technology could leave one breathless. I was proven wrong in that, for it was absolutely beautiful. From the lights, to the people, to the non-stop action, I could not get enough of the bliss I felt in that exact moment.
While stepping out of my comfort zone as a small town Ohioan, to becoming a tourist of one of the most popular cities in my country, I had never felt so at home. I have been other locations around the country, but never have I found a place where I felt as comfortable as New York City made me feel. I had never felt more like myself in that time, even in the time that I have lived in Ohio. I have never truly felt like I belonged somewhere until I stepped foot in New York City. Finding where you feel as if you belong is an amazing feeling that everyone should get the chance to witness, and I am extremely grateful that I got that opportunity. New York City will one day be my home, and until then will be considered just a fantasy.
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