There's something magical about seeing New York City for the first time in your life. Maybe you're like me and had a childhood dream to someday live there, amongst the lights and the people.
But, after running away from my quiet Montana town to New York, I ended up facing a whole new set of realities — some that were just as disappointing as the ones I faced in Montana.
I no longer live there and have found that spending a few days in the city is enough for me to get my fix. Here are five reasons it's better to be tourist in NYC than a local:
5. New York is stressful.
Not to say life in general isn't stressful, no matter where you live.
It just seems that living in the Big Apple requires a little extra tenacity than some other locations. Whether it's dealing with long lines at every Starbucks in Midtown or the delayed 4 train, something will always throw off your day, and the hustle and bustle will only amplify your stress levels.
4. New York is expensive.
No matter how many times I've visited, I'm always surprised by how much I have to pay for some of the simplest things. I pretty much have to accept that the bottle of water I want will cost twice as much as it would at home.
This reality kept me from really settling down in the city for the long term. I don't mind spending money to check out a museum or two; however, I do mind paying that extra toll fee that taxis don't mention until you've already passed through the toll bridge.
3. The people are overwhelming.
This seems like an obvious one, but sometimes, New York can just feel a little too crowded. You're never alone (unless hidden away in your apartment with a pint of Ben & Jerry's), so you have to redefine what public and personal space means.
If you've received some terrible news, it's up to you whether or not you feel comfortable sobbing on the subway in front of random strangers. Personally, I need some room to stretch my legs and a place to hide my emotions without a curious crowd catching a glimpse.
People also seem to complicate some actions that normally seem easy. Going to the grocery store becomes a complex dance routine of trying to avoid other bodies, while grabbing a pre-packaged salad and leaving a concert requires some reading material while you wait to get out.
This is all fine for those who crave human interaction and need to be around others constantly. But, for those who are a bit more introverted and need some personal space, this can be a hard thing to deal with regularly.
2. The commute is hellish.
Don't get me wrong; I feel like half the interesting stories I have are from my New York subway system experiences. But, predicting the duration of your commute and including time for train delays — but not too much time — takes persistence. And, it takes more effort than I was willing to devote
1. The New York mentality is... unique.
I admit, there is no place quite like New York. You can travel to every corner of the world and never find something so conglomerate and unique. It's a blend of many wonderful, distinctly American things — and you have to love it for that.
But, it's not the greatest city in the world. I appreciate how proud New Yorkers are of their home, but in truth, there are a lot of really cool places on this planet, and the world doesn't revolve around the island of Manhattan -- sorry!
I will always love returning to NYC for short visits, and I'm lucky to have incredibly amazing friends who are willing to put up with me bumming on their couches during those visits. But, I don't anticipate putting down a deposit for an apartment anytime soon. Whatever, I can't afford it, anyway!
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It