Don’t get me wrong, I love New York City. Manhattan is a neophile’s dream. A place of ever changing everything.
(To tackle every restaurant in New York City it would take 22.9 years, eating at a new restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.)
Still, I have to get the fuck out. A very friendly gay man I befriended while eating alone at a bar in the West Village told me I should swear less, and he’s probably right. But that’s exactly what makes New York so wonderful. You’re allowed to be whoever the fuck you want.
Anonymity. A word I struggle to pronounce. I got my first taste of it when I was studying abroad in Barcelona in 2011. It was the possibility of being whoever I wanted to be. The abandonment of anxieties about how I might be perceived. Afterall, I was in a foreign country where the Catalans had little expectations of American social norms. I, therefore, was not expected to abide.
Oh, Barcelona. Like a lurking foreigner at Opium Mar Discoteca, you snuck up on me and put me under a spell. Aside from moving from the Bay Area to Arizona for college, this was my first real dose of self directed novelty. I was hooked.
So it’s neophilia that brought me to New York City, and it’s neophilia that has now brought me to this new adventure. In New York, I found a great job, wonderful friends, new experiences, and tons of opportunities to learn about the world. Eventually, I also found a routine. The allure of the unknown called to me again and I knew I had to act.
Today, I embark on a 4-month trek through Asia. I put in my notice and packed up my tiny West Village apartment, all in exchange for a backpack, a plane ticket, and a loose itinerary intended to push my boundaries further than they have ever been pushed before.
Here are the numbers:
- 1 couple
- 11 Asian countries
- 4 months
- 2, 45-liter backpacks
- 1 DSLR
- 1 Go Pro
- and ~$35 per day
It’s my first experience in Asia and my first experience traveling with just a backpack. I’m ready for the challenge, ready for the break from my routine, ready to appease my inner neophilac, and ready to become whoever the fuck I want.
Post by K
Photo: Statue of Liberty, New York City