Why You Should Leave New York City Every So Often For Your Own Sanity

by Aramide Tinubu

Like most New York transplants, I ride or die for this city. Despite the copious amounts of money I spend monthly on rent and the fact that I suffer through the heavenly stench of hot garbage during the summer months, I’ve never been more in love with this city.

Yet, as I come upon my six-year anniversary of being a New Yorker, I've learned that it's important to step away from it every now and again for some fresh air, space and piece of mind. Here are four reasons to take a Big Apple break:

1. Space

I always argue with non-New Yorkers when they complain about the lack of space and the feeling of claustrophobia that NYC gives you. I won’t lie; it can be extremely suffocating, especially if you find yourself in Times Square (on any given moment on any day of the year).

I try and reason that there are spaces to breathe deeply; there have been many a night that I’ve found myself completely alone on a Harlem sidewalk or stretched out on a beach blanket, Kindle in hand, in Central Park. I will admit, however, sometimes you need a little bit of the country to make it through the cold, dreary months here.

Last summer, I took a train with some girlfriends to Rhode Island for a weekend. We stayed at a friend’s parents’ house, swam in the pool, drove through the woods, lounged on the beach and ate seafood by the ocean. The fresh air, the greenery and the smell of sea salt were all glorious. It sort of revived my spirit and I arrived back at my tiny apartment in NYC, ready to take on the rest of summer.

2. Hospitality

I’m not going to cosign with the widely held belief that New Yorkers are rude people. I’ve met some very sweet people during my time here and I will always believe you can find rude, entitled people anywhere.

Yet, it’s true that this city doesn’t offer the hospitality that I experienced growing up in the Midwest. I like to think of myself as an extremely polite person so not hearing “please” and “thank you” on a regular basis really irks my nerves.

Perhaps in the city, we’re just too busy moving to our next destination to remember these simple things. Still, it’s kind of sad when I’m shocked when someone holds the door open for me or offers me a seat on a crowded subway car.

Every now and again, I jump on a plane or train for some nearby city and I’m reminded that I’m not a barbarian and that a bit of politeness and conversation never hurt anybody.

3. Money, Money, Money

A Chipotle burrito in NYC costs a full two dollars and some change more than it is in my hometown. It really does something to your spirit when you successfully con yourself into thinking a $10 drink really isn’t too bad. When my mom dropped me off at school my sophomore year of undergrad, she was so horrified by the prices at Duane Reade that she increased my monthly allowance.

NYC, even on a budget, is not a game. Almost anywhere else in the USA (and even in the world), you’ll feel like a baller and you’ll exclaim — to everyone’s annoyance — how CHEAP everything is. Yes, you’ll question your own sanity and you’ll try to figure out why you live in such an outrageously expensive city, but really, where else would you be?

4. Quiet And Tranquility

I’m a self-proclaimed extroverted introvert. As much as I love people, friends and laughter, I LIVE for peace, quiet and personal space. There’s never really any complete silence in NYC, even when your roommate is away and you live in a quieter neighborhood.

It just isn’t the same thing as some green place outdoors, away from others, without a cell phone signal. I’m not suggesting you stay out in the wilderness forever, but unplugging and finding peace truly puts things in perspective.

As much as NYC has been like an old friend to me, it also pushes me to get away to discover new places, people and possibilities. You’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t indulge in opportunities to do so. Plus, the city is always a little shinier and sexier after you’ve spent some time away from it.

Photo via Tumblr