The Six Month Itch

May 22, 2011 7:46 pm

We are born nomads.

From our hunter-gatherer days, we’ve chosen our homes based on where the resources are that can support our lifestyles, and we’ve moved on after taking all we could. Through all stages of evolution, this much has not changed. But the traveling breed requires something beyond water, heat, food and shelter. We are doers, and we need stimulation.

Every six months I find myself restless. Not because I don’t love wherever I am (how could I not? I moved there, after all) but because I realize I’ve stopped appreciating the place to the fullest. My DNA reminds me its time to refresh my surroundings and seek out new diversions, and I find myself in a self-induced (and sometimes winter-induced) rut.

What can you do? How can you avoid treating your city like a working adult and more like a kid on a playground again? Your inner 8-year-old’s thrill in taking a train to work has become a daily commute. You finally met your neighbors; they are not famous fashion editors, starving artists and Nobel Prize-winning rocket scientists, but contractors and low-level businessmen with five kids and pets that are smellier than they are lovable.

In the real world, we can’t just pack our bags and find something new and fun when the place we’ve romanticized turns from a fairy tale into a more permanent home (your roots). I’ve been in NYC for more than nine months now and I’m sorry to say I’ve let it stale. As much as I’d like to jet off to London and pretend to write a novel for the next year, it’s not a possibility when you know you’ll be restless again six months later. Like in any other relationship, you have to stop, take a breath and find a solution both you and your city can agree on. It’s time to bring back that honeymoon feeling and get out of the rut!

The goal is to feel uncomfortable in your own city. You know that rush of excitement when you step out of that taxi/bus/gondola/rental/RV and take a first look around you, amazed you have so much to explore in the coming hours/days/weeks/months? To grasp that feeling whenever and wherever I want to have it, I need a plan.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be testing all my own strategies and taking requests. Anchors away!


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