I’ve been MIA for about a month now, but I promise I have a semi-good reason! We were back in the United States for 2 weeks and then I’ve been blessed with the aftermath of a very jet-lagged baby. Read: Waking up at 2, 3 and 4am for a week, “talking”, laughing and ready to take on the world. Her parents?? Not quite as enthusiastic. However, she wouldn’t have gone to the US if not for us, so getting angry with her wasn’t in the cards. She’s a baby and she thought it was time to wake up! In any case, she’s started to get herself back to normal now, so I have a bit more energy for this blog.
As many of you know, after what will be 4 years in India, we are relocating back to New York this summer, and we are SUPER excited! We moved to India for “2 years”, or so we thought. But if we had actually spoken to any of the expats here about timing before we moved, we would have known that “2 years” is rarely 2 years. Most people end up here for somewhere between 3-5 years, LIKE US! If I am honest, 2 years wouldn’t have been long enough. In the 4 years we have been here, we have accomplished a lot professionally and have been lucky enough to travel a ton, so 4 years worked for us. While we have enjoyed our time in India and feel very fortunate to have had the experience (yes, even me, the critic from the get-go!), we are ready to home. We will miss a lot about being in India (future blog post!), but there are lots of things we are looking forward to about going back. Here are my top 10 🙂
- Family & friends. It’s been difficult to be away from everyone for so long. Every time I go home, I half expect to be able to pick up where I left off. It’s a bit easier with my family than my friends, but talking/seeing people so infrequently is so apparent whenever I go back. New jobs, new relationships, new interests, etc. It’s normal, change happens, especially in such a significant time period. But I miss everyone terribly and I miss being a part of those changes. Seeing people a couple times a year – at best – just doesn’t do justice to any relationship. I’m really looking forward to getting back into the groove of spending time with stateside family and friends again.
- Being able to walk/run anywhere. NYC is a pedestrian city, and I cannot wait to get back to that. Running along the river or around Central Park, walking to restaurants and shops, going for a walk – just because – and being able to do it for hours without seeing the same thing twice. I really miss that. It’s difficult to walk around in Bangalore because the city is so spread out, there are potholes in the road and missing pieces of sidewalk, and the traffic is so unpredictable. We walk to places which are close, but we can’t really do a days worth of errands on foot or go for a long scenic run. In NYC, we can, and we will.
- Independence & spontaneity. This one is kind of linked to #2. I miss being able to go where I want, when I want. Because we have to drive everywhere in Bangalore and because neither Jeremy or I like the idea of driving here, we’ve always had to plan ahead so we can make sure our driver is here to take us. Having a driver has many perks, and ours is fantastic, but I’m excited to be able to walk, hop in a taxi or take the subway anytime I want or need to.
- Seasons. If you know me, you know I LOVE winter. I know, you probably think I’m strange. But I really love having different types of weather throughout the year. India has different weather too – sunny & hot, cloudy & hot or rainy & hot. See the pattern? HOT! “Cold” evenings during winter may hit a low of 65 degrees F, but even that’s rare. I’d say it’s annual average is probably 85-87 degrees F. I like different temperatures that last for a couple months at a time in NYC. Each season brings different clothes, activities, food menus, sports, moods, etc. It’s the element of change & I like it.
- Sports. I grew up on baseball. I’ve gone to Yankee games since I was born. And when Jeremy and I started dating, we went to several basketball, hockey and football games too. I miss the sporting events in America, both being there live but also watching them on TV. Each sport has it’s season & each season brings its own atmosphere. NY sports teams have serious fans and the atmosphere inside a stadium or a sports bar is always amazing.
- Grocery stores. I cannot wait to shop in a grocery store where I can get everything I need & to know it will be there. You can find almost anything you want in India, but you need to go to different stores to do it. We get our fruits and vegetables from one place, our bread from another, our meats from a third place, and our fish is delivered to us by a fish supplier. I have also found that the stores here are not consistent. For example, a store may sell a type of cereal we like for a couple months and then it disappears for 6 months before coming back. Very strange!
- No traffic & a short commute to work. If all goes as planned, we will be moving back to Battery Park City in Manhattan. That means the commute to work will be a 6 minute ferry ride across the Hudson River. The ferries run on a schedule, so we know exactly what time we will arrive to the office based on which ferry we take. We tend to leave home at the same time everyday in India, and it has taken us anywhere from 40 – 90 minutes to get to the office with no obvious reason for the difference. Love the ferry commute! 🙂
- Restaurants. I love food. I was brought up in a family that loves food. NYC is a city with amazing restaurants. You can walk into almost anywhere and have something decent to eat. Steak, Italian, Indian, African, Brazilian, French, Seafood, Spanish, etc. You can find it all and, again, it’s SO easy to get to any of them. Hello taxi!!
- Country concerts. I really really REALLY miss seeing a good country music concert. I love country music. It screams “America” to me and can always put me in a good mood. Country concerts are about more than the music though. Country concerts are an event, complete with tailgating, BBQ, friends and family, sunshine & warm weather. They are laid back and incredibly fun and I will make sure that we get to one within the first 12 months that we are back!
- American travel. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to see so many places while living in India and we have pictures & memories that will last a lifetime. But I’m looking forward to getting back to American travel. Before I moved to India, I was always anxious to vacation somewhere exotic and different and never gave traveling to “deepest, darkest” America a second thought. I’ve been to lots of places in the US as well, but I want to spend future vacation time visiting some of America’s most iconic places and make sure that I take advantage of everything that my amazing home country has to offer. It’s also a bonus that I won’t need to go through customs every time I get off the plane 😉
So there they are, the things that are topping my list of why I am excited to move back to the states and to NYC. If any of you have lived abroad and looked forward to certain things when you moved back, I’d love to hear about them!